Skip to main content

Full text of "Memorials of Agnes Elizabeth Jones"

See other formats




U^,^,,.^^ ^. o^^^^i^Oc^ 


Presented to the 
Hartford Hospital School of Nursing 

in memory of 

Martha J. Wilkinson, Class of 1890 
Hartford's first visiting nurse 

hy her friend 

Edna L. Foley, Class of 1904 




■H.^ ^^^ ^/;^.^^:^^,^^- 




€^ ■, 







<^)Mr^./0'/Ul ^^ r^^^'/ 


31 n ti a n 

[A II rights reserz'cd] 




EARLY LIFF. . . f 










LIVERPOOL WORKHOUSE . . . » j . . • *8j 






ANOTHER GONE BEFORE ....»,.•. 462 



AUNT .....* ^ ... * . . 480 


{Reprinted from Good Wokds for June, i868.) 

One woman has died — a woman, attrac- 
tive and rich^ and young and witty ; yet a 
veiled and silent woman^ distinguished by no 
other genius but the divine genius — working 
hard to train herself in order to train others 
to walk in the footsteps of Him v\^ho went 
about doing good. To follow Him, she 
spent herself in activity ; she overworked be- 
cause others undenvork. Shall we let her 
have died in vain ? 

She died, as she had lived, at her post, in 
one of the largest workhouse infirmaries in 


this kingdom — the first in which trained 
nursing has been introduced. She is the 
pioneer of workhouse nursing. I do not 
give her name ! were she aUve, she would 
beg me not. Of all human beings I have 
ever known, she was (I was about to say) the 
most free from desire of the praise of men. 
But I cannot say — most free; for she was per- 
fectly free. She was absolutely without 
human vanity ; she preferred being unknown 
to all but God ; she did not let her right 
hand know what her left hand did. I will, 
therefore, call her Una, if you please ; for, 
when her whole life and image rise before 
me, so far from thinking the story of Una 
and her lion a myth, I say here is Una in 
real flesh and blood — Una and her paupers, 
far more untameable than lions. 

The graceful, tender legends of Catholic 
saints and martyrs (why call them Roman 
Catholic ?) have not a greater miracle than 


we have here in the flesh. She lived the life, 
and died the death, of the saints and martyrs; 
though the greatest sinner would not have 
been more surprised than she to have heard 
this said of herself. In less than three years 
she had reduced one of the most disorderly 
hospital populations in the world to some- 
thing like Christian discipline, such as the 
police themselves wondered at. She had 
led, so as to be of one mind and heart with 
her, upwards of fifty nurses and probationers; 
of whom the faithful few whom she took with 
her of our trained nurses were but a seed. 
She had converted a vestry to the convic- 
tion of the economy as well as humanity of 
nursing pauper sick by trained nurses, — the 
first instance of the kind in England ; for 
vestries, of whom she had almost the most 
enlightened, the most hberal body of men in 
England to support her, must look after the 
pockets of their ratepayers as well as the 


benefit of their sick. But^ indeed, the super- 
stition seems- now to be exploding that to 
neglect sick paupers is the way to keep down 
pauperism. She had converted the Poor- 
Law Board— a body, perhaps, not usually 
given to much enthusiasm about Unas and 
paupers — to these views ; two of whom bore 
witness to this effect. 

She had disarmed all opposition, all sec- 
tarian zealotism ; so that Roman Catholic 
and Unitarian, High Church and Low 
Church, all literally rose up and called he" 
" blessed." Churchwardens led the way in 
the vestry-meeting which was held in her 
honour after her death ; and really affecting 
speeches, made while moving the resolution 
of condolence (no mere form) to her family^ 
were the tribute to her public service. AIL 
of all shades of religious creed, seemed to 
have merged their differences in her, seeing 
in her the one true essePrtial thing, compared 


with which they acknowledged their dif- 
ferences to be as nothing. And aged paupers 
made verses in her honour after her death. 

In less than three years — the time generally 
given to the ministry on earth of that Saviour 
whom she so earnestly strove closely to fol- 
low — she did all this. She had the graceful- 
ness^ the witj the unfailing cheerfulness — 
qualities so remarkable but so much over- 
looked in our Saviour's life. She had the 
absence of all asceticism^ or " mortification/' 
for mortification's sake, which characterized 
His work, and any real work in the present 
day as in His day. And how did she do all 
this ? She was not, when a girl, of any con- 
spicuous ability, except that she had culti- 
vated in herself to the utmost a power of 
getting through business in a short time, 
without slurring it over and without fid-fad- 
ding at it ; real business — her Father's busi- 
ness. She was always filled with the thought 


that she must be about her '^ Father's busi- 
ness." How can any undervalue business- 
habits ? as if anything could be done with- 
out them. She could do, and she did do, 
more of her Father's business in six hours 
than ordinary women do in six months, or 
than most of even the best women do in six 
days. But, besides this and including this, 
she had trained herself to the utmost — she 
was always training herself; for this is no 
holiday work. Nursing is an art ; and, if it 
is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a 
devotion, as hard a preparation, as any 
painter's or sculptor's work ; for what is the 
having to do with dead canvas or cold marble, 
compared with having to do with the living 
body — the temple of God's spirit? It is 
one of the Fine Arts ; I had almost said, the 
'finest of the Fine Arts. I have seen some- 
where in print that nursing is a profession to 
be followed by the ^Mower middle-class.'' 


Shall we say that painting or sculpture is a 
profession to be followed by the "lower 
middle-class " ? Why limit the class at all r 
Or shall we say that God is only to be served 
in His sick by the " lower middle-class " : 
The poorest child without shoes^ the most 
highly-born^ have alike followed all these 
professions with success, have alike had to 
undergo the hardest work, if for success. 
There is no such thing as amateur art; there 
is no such thing as amateur nursing.* 

* It appears to be the most futile of all distinctions 
to classify as between *^ paid" and unpaid art, so between 
"paid" and unpaid nursing — to make into a test a 
circumstance as adv^entitious as whether the hair is black 
or brown, viz., whether people have private means or 
not, whether they are obliged or not to work at their 
art or their nursing for a livelihood. Probably no 
person ever did that well which he did only for money. 
Certainly no person ever did that well which he did 
not work at as hard as if he did it solely for money. If 
by amateurs in art or in nursing are meant those who 
take it up for play, it is not art at all, it is not nursing 


I return to the training which this servant 
of God gave herself. 

Before she came to us she had been at 
Kaiserswerth^ and already knew more than 
most hospital matrons know when they 
undertake matronship. She was some time 
with the Bible Women in London. Over- 
done with cares and business, I had lost 
sight of her, when I was taken by surprise 
at hearing from our training-school at St. 
Thomas's Hospital that she had asked for 
admittance there to have a year's training, a 
step entirely unprompted by us. She told 
me afterwards that she felt, when she had 
entered there, as if she knew nothing. 
While there she went through all the train- 
ing of a nurse. Her reports of cases were 
admirable as to nursing details. She was 
our best pupil; she went through all the 

at all. You never yet made an artist by paying him 
well. But — an artist ought to be well paid. 


work of a soldier; and she thereby fitted 
herself for being the best general we ever 

Many a time^ in her after life at the work- 
house, she wrote, that without her training 
at St. Thomas's Hospital she could have 
done nothing. Unless ^asuperintendent 
herself knows what the nurses she has to 
superintend ought to do, she is always at a 
loss. She is never sure of her work. She 
must be herself the measure of their work. 
In a workhouse, she said, this must be pre- 
eminently the case — more even than in a 
hospital — because on a workhouse-infirmary 
matron fall many more of the decisions as 
to petty medical matters than on a London 
hospital matron, where the medical and 
surgical staff are much more numerous and 

" Without a regular hard London hospital 
training I should have been ^ nowhere,' " she 
used to say. 


She was fond of telling her obligations to 
our admirable matron at St. Thomas's Hos- 
pital. I need^ however, but to recall one 
thing. This very year that she was taken 
from us she had intended to have " two 
months more training" at St. Thomas's 
Hospital as soon as she could safely take " a 
holiday" — (whal a holiday!) — after three 
weeks with her dear mother and sister. She 
said she should learn " so much " now,, hav- 
ing won her experience, if she had "a little 
more training." 

Dear fellow country-women, if any of you 
are unwilling to leave a loved and happy 
home, if any of you are unwilling to give up 
a beloved daughter or sister, know that this 
servant of God had a home as fair and happy 
as any, which she loved beyond all created 
things, and that her mother and sister gave 
her up to do God's work. Upon the awful 
character of that sacrifice I cannot speak 
They "gave her" (and it) "to God." 


1 will return to her work at the workhouse. 
How did she do it all ? She did it simplv 
by the manifestation of the life which was in 
her — the trained^ well-ordered life of doing 
her Father's business — so different from the 
governing, the ordering about^ the driving 
principle. And everybody recognized it — 
the paupers, and the vestry, and the nurses, 
and the Poor-Law Board. As for the nurses 
(those who understood her), her influence 
with them was unbounded. They would 
have died for her. Because they always felt 
that she cared for them, not merely as 
instruments of the work, but for each one in 
herself; not because she wished for popu- 
larity or praise among them, but solely for 
their own well-being. She had no care for 
praise in her at all. But (or rather because 
of this) she had a greater power of carrying 
her followers with her than any woman (or 
man) I ever knew. And she never seemed 



to know that she was doing anything re- 

It seems unnatural that I should be writ- 
ing her " In Memoriam/' I who have been 
a prisoner to my room from illness for years, 
and she so full of health and vigour till 
almost the last. Within sixteen days of her 
death I received a letter from her, full of all 
her own energy about workhouse affairs, and 
mentioning her illness, which had begun, 
but bidding me " not be anxious." But this 
is not an " In Memoriam," it is a war-cry — 
a war-cry such as she would have bid me 
write ; a cry for successors to fill her plaec 
to fill up the ranks. 

Oh, fellow country-women, why do you 
hang back ? Why are there so few of you?. 
We hear so much of "idle hands and unsa- 
tisfied hearts," and nowhere more than in 
England. All England is ringing with the 
cry for '^Women's Work" and "Women's 


Mission." Why are there so few to do the 
" work r" We used to hear of people giving 
their blood for their country. Since when 
is it that they only give their ink ? We now 
have in England this most extraordinary 
state of things — England, who is, or thinks 
herself, the most religious and the most 
commercial country in the world. New 
hospitals, new asylums, new nurses' homes, 
and societies for nursing the sick poor at 
home, are rising everywhere. People are 
always willing to give their money for these. 
The Poor-Law Board, the Boards of Guar- 
dians, are willing, or compelled, to spend 
money for separate asylums for workhouse 
sick. An Act was passed last year for the 
metropolis to this effect. It is proposed to 
extend it to the whole country. This Act, 
although miserably inadequate, still inaugu- 
rates a new order of things, viz., that the 
workhouse sick shall not be workhouse 

b % 


inmates, not be cared for as mere workhouse 
inmates^ but that they shall be poor sick, 
cared for as sick who are to be cured, if 
possible, and treated as becomes a Christian 
country, if they cannot be cured. But are 
buildings all that are necessary to take care 
of the sick ? There wants the heart and the 
hand — the trained and skilful hand. Every 
workhouse and other hospital in the king- 
dom ought to be nursed by such hands and 
such hearts. Tell me, does not this seem 
like a truism ? 

What we mean by challenging England, 
if she is the most rehgious and the most 
commercial country in the world, to do this 
work, is this : We do not say, as in Roman 
Catholic countries, the test of fitness to serve 
God in this way is whether he has given you 
private means sufficient to do it without pay. 
We say : the test is, w^hether you wdll be 
trained so as to command the highest pay. 


May we not hope that in this country our 
Lord, were He to come again, would say, 
instead of '' Ye cannot serve God and Mam- 
mon," — Ye can by serving God command 
that mammon necessary for the workers 
who must also eat — themselves and their 

Let the religious motive be so strong that 
it will enable you to train yourself so as to 
earn the highest pay for the best work. The 
pay is offered ; it is the trained workers we 
cannot find to be paid. 

Thirty years ago, if a girl wished for 
training, there was none to be had. I can 
truly say there was no training to be had to 
fit a woman thoroughly for any life whatever. 
Now the training is offered, there are but 
few to take it. 

We do not say, as was said to women 
in my day, Look about you, and see 
if you can catch painfully a few straws of 


practical experience or knowledge in the 
wind. We are not now inviting women to 
a life, without being able to show — Here is 
the training all ready, if you choose to have 
it — here is an independent and well-paid 
calling wanting to receive you when you 
leave your training, if only you have fitted 
yourselves for it. I might say more than 
this ; I might say we are beset with offers of 
places for trained nurses and trained superin- 
tendents, and we cannot fill them. I would 
I could go out into the highways and hedges, 
and compel them to come in. How often I 
have known Pastor Fliedner, of Kaiserswerth, 
(he is now gone to his glorious rest,) say, 
when thus pressed by calls from pastors, and 
from directors of institutions, out of all parts 
of Germany, " You ask me for deaconesses. 
Has your district furnished us with any 
probationers ? No ; not one. Then, am I 
to give you the finished article, and you not 


to give me the live material ? Am I to raise 
deaconesses out of the ground by a stamp of 
the foot r" That is what we, alas ! feel often 
inclined to say when we are pressed from all 
parts of Her Majesty's dominions, colonies 
included, in that great empire '' upon which 
the sun never sets." 

I have spoken chiefly of workhouse hos- 
pitals, and their want of trained nurses and 
trained superintendents, because I had to 
describe the work of her who was the first 
to try to fill the deep yawning chasm, but 
not, like Curtius, to close it up — and because 
it seemed the most crying want. But why 
do I call it so } To answer the calls upon 
us for trained matrons or superintendents, 
as well as for trained nurses, for hospitals, 
and nursing institutions of all kinds, we can 
scarcely obtain anything like sufficient living 
materials. By all who have really laboured 
in these and similar fields the same tale is 


told. People cry out and deplore the unre- 
munerative employment for women. The 
true want is the olher way. Women really 
trained^ and capable for good work^ can 
command any wages or salaries. We can't 
get the women. The remunerative employ- 
ment is there^ and in plenty. The want is 
the women fit to take it. 

It is wonderful (to return to our own case 
of the hospitals) the absence of thought 
which exists upon this point. As if a 
woman could undertake hospital manage- 
ment, or the management of a single ward — 
in which, more than anything else, hundreds, 
or even thousands, of lives are involved — 
without having learnt anything about it, any 
more than a man can undertake to be, for 
example, professor of mathematics without 
having learnt mathematics ! 

It is time to come to the dry bones of the 
affair after having shown how beautifully 


these could be clothed in flesh and blood. 
We admit at St. Thomas's Hospital Training 
School ^ — subject to the judgment of the 

* Writers on sick nursing have repudiated training, 
without saying what training is. I perceive that I have 
used the word '^ training" a great many times. And 
neither have I said what it is. 

We require that a woman be sober, honest, truth- 
ful, without which there is no foundation on which to 

We train then in habits of punctuality, quietness, 
trustworthiness, personal neatness. We teach her how 
to manage the concerns of a large ward or establish- 

We train her in dressing wounds and other injuries, 
and in performing all those minor operations which 
nurses are called upon day and night to undertake. 

We teach her how to manage helpless patients in 
regard to moving, changing, feeding, temperature, and 
the prevention of bed-sores. 

She has to make and apply bandages, line splints 
for fractures, and the like. She must knov/ how to 
ir.ake beds with as little disturbance as possible to their 
m mates. She is instructed how to wait at operations, 
and as to the kind of aid the surgeon requires at her 


matron^ and subject to certain conditions 
being accepted or fuljfilled by the probationer 
— a limited number of probationers to be 

hands. She is taught cooking for sick j the principles 
on which sick-wards ought to be cleansed^ aired, and 
warmed 3 the management of convalescents 5 and how 
to observe sick and maimed patients, so as to give an 
intelligent and truthful account to the physician or 
surgeon in regard to the progress of cases in the 
intervals between visits — a much more difficult thing 
than is generally supposed. 

We do not seek to make *^ medical women/' but 
simply nurses acquainted with the principles which 
they are required constantly to apply at the bed- 

For the future superintendent is added a course of 
instruction in the administration of a hospital, including, 
of course, the linen arrangements, and what else is 
necessary for a matron to be conversant with. 

There are those who think that all this is intuitive in 
women, that they are born so, or, at least, that it comes 
to them without training. To sucli we say. By all 
means send us as many such geniuses as you can, for 
we are sorely in want of them. 

The regulations and previous information reauired 


trained as nurses for the sick poor. Hither- 
to we have been compelled to confine our- 
selves to sending out staffs of nurses to 
hospitals or workhouses, with a view to 
their becoming, in their turn, centres of 
training, because the applications we receive 
for trained nurses are far more numerous and 
urgent than we have power to answer. But 
did a greater number of probationers, suit- 
able for superior situations, offer themselves, 
we could provide additional means for train- 
ing, and answer applications for district 
nurses, and many others. These pro- 
bationers receive board, lodging, training 
entirely free, a certain amount of uniform 
dress, and a small amount of pay during 
their year of training. 

may be obtained by writing to the Secretary of the 
Nightingale Fund, H. Bonham-Carter, Esq., 91, 
Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, London, W.^ 

Before admission, personal application should be made 
to Mrs. Wardroper, St. Thomas's Hospital, Newington, 
Surrey, S.E. 


For the efficiency, comfort, and success of 
a nursing staff thus sent out it is, of course, 
essential that the trained nurses should not 
go without the trained superintendent, nor 
the trained superintendent without the 
trained nurses. 

There are two requisites in a superinten- 
dent: — I. Character and business capacity. 
2. Training and knowledge. Without the 
second, the first is of little avail. Without 
the first, the second is only partially useful ; 
for we cannot bring out of a person what is 
not in her. We can only become respon- 
sible for the training. The other qualifications 
can only be known by trial. New to take su- 
perintendents or head nurses, as is done every 
day, by receiving and comparing of testi- 
monials (not a day's Times but shows this 
process in the vast majority of institutions) — - 
this is hardly more to the purpose than to 
do as the Romans did, when they determined 


the course of conduct they should take by 
seeing whether there were a flight of crows. 

The future superintendent would be a 
great deal the better for two years of training 
for so diflicult and responsible a post. But 
such are the calls upon us that we can often 
give her scarcely one. 

If the lady, in training for a superintendent, 
can pay for her own board, it is, of course, 
right that she should do so (everything else is, 
in all cases, given free). At the present time 
we are able to admit a few gentlewomen free 
of all expense, and with the small salary 
above mentioned during the year of training. 
We have applications from institutions in 
want of trained superintendents (or matrons), 
and trained head nurses for hospitals in 
India and in England, and far a large work- 
house infirmary. 

In December we sent to New South 
Wales, by decire of the government there, 
which defrayed and assumed all expenses, to 


take charge of the Sydney Infirmary and to 
found a future training-school for the colony, 
five trained nurses and a trained lady super- 

I give a quarter of a century's European 
experience when I say that the happiest 
people^ the fondest of their occupation, the 
most thankful for their lives, are, in my 

* The engagement was for three years. First-class 
passages out, all paid. 

The pay now usually given in English hospitals for 
trained nurses is from £10 to £'^0 a year, with every- 
thing ^^ found 3" for hospital, i.e. ward ^^ sisters," in 
some London hospitals £^0, with like advantages 5 
and for matrons or superintendents in provincial 
hospitals from £60 to ^100, with board and 

The salaries given to the nursing staff sent to Sydney 
were on a more liberal scale. 

A wing is being added to the infirmary of Sydney 
for the accommodation of the future superintendent, 
nurses, and probationers, the most complete and 
costly thing which has ever been erected for a nursing 
staff, and which puts to shame our London hospital 
in this respect. 


opinion^ those engaged in sick nursing. In 
my opinion, it is a mere abuse of words to 
represent the hfe, as is done by some, as a 
sacrifice and a martyrdom. But there have 
been martyrs in it. • The founders and 
pioneers of almost everything that is best 
must be martyrs. But these are the last 
ever to think themselves so. And for all 
there must be constant self-sacrifice for the 
good of all. But the distinction is this — 
the life is not a sacrifice ; it is the engaging 
in an occupation the happiest of any. But 
the strong, the healthy wills in any life must 
determine to pursue the common good at 
any personal cost — at daily sacrifice. And we 
must not think that any fit of enthusiasm 
will carry us through such a life as this. 
Nothing but the feeling that it is God's work 
more than ours — that we are seeking His 
success and not our success — and that we 
have trained and fitted ourselves by every 


means which He has granted us to carry out 
His work^ will enable us to go on. 

Three- fourths of the whole mischief in 
women's lives arises from their excepting 
themselves from the rules of training con- 
sidered needful for men. 

And even with this thorough training, we 
shall have many moments of doubt^ of dread, 
of discouragement. But yet the very pres- 
sure of the work, of which the cares are so 
heavy, prevents us from having time to dwell 
on them. 

The work has great consolations. It has 
also great disappointments, like every other 
noble work w^here you aim high ; and if 
there has been one thing expressed to me 
more often and more strongly by her we 
have lost, it is what I have tried to say 

I must end as I have begun, with my 


m i j i ■— — 

I cannot say in my weak words, what she 
used to tell as to her questionings : '^ Shall 
I be able ever to meet the dreariness^ the 
disappointments, the isolation?" And the 
answer, " Not in my own strength, but in 
His ; not for my work's sake, but for His." 
" My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength 
is made perfect in thy weakness." That 
answer of God to St. Paul, she realized in 
her daily life more than any one I ever 

She was pecuUarly sensitive to little act3 
and words of kindness, and also of unkind- 
ness ; and if a nosegay, a friendly letter came 
to her in her times of overwork and dis- 
couragement, she would take it exactly as if 
it had been sent her by her Father Himself. 
" I do not say to Him, Give success,'' she 
once said ; '^ if all fails to human eyes, if I 
do nothing, ^ not my way, but His be done 5 
not as I will, but as Thou wilt.' '' 



More completely and unreservedly than 
any one I ever knew, she gave herself: *^ Be- 
hold the handmaid of the Lord^ be it unto 
me according to thy word." 

And it was so. What she went through 
during her workhouse life is scarcely known 
but to God and to one or two. Yet she said 
that she had " never been so happy in all her 

All the last winter she had under her 
charge above 50 nurses and probationers, 
above 150 pauper scourers, from 1^290 to 
1,350 patients, being from two to three 
hundred more than the number of beds. All 
this she had to provide for and arrange for, 
often receiving an influx of patients without 
a moment's warning. She had to manage 
and persuade the patients to sleep three and 
four in two beds ; sometimes six, or even 
eight children had to be put in one bed ; 
and being asked on one occasion whether 


they did not " kick one another/' they 
answered, " Oh, no, ma'am, we're so com- 
for'ble." Poor little things I they scarcely 
remembered ever to have slept in a bed 
before. But this is not the usual run of 
workhouse patients. Among them are the 
worn-out old prostitutes, the worn-out old 
thieves, the worn-out old drunkards. 

Part of the work in workhouses is to see 
that the dissolute and desperate old sinners 
do not corrupt the younger women, fallen, 
but not hopeless ; to persuade the delirium 
tremens case, wandering about in his shirt, to 
go back quietly into his ward and his bed. 
Part of the work is to see that the mothers 
of the sick children do not quarrel, ay, and 
fight, and steal the food of one another's 
children. ^ 

These are among the every-day incidents 
of workhouse life. And, if any one would 
know w^hat are the lowest depths of human 


vice and misery, would see the festering mass 
of decay of living human bodies and human 
souls, and then would try what one loving 
soul, filled with the spirit of her God, can do 
to let in the light of God into this hideous 
well (worse than the well of Cawnpore), to 
b'nd up the wounds, to heal the broken- 
hearted, to bring release to the captives — let 
her study the ways, and follow in the steps 
of this one young, frail woman, who has died 
to show us the way — blessed in her death as 
in her life. 

If anything ought to nerve the official 
crowd of the Poor-Law Board, and us women 
on the non-official side, to resolve on fighting 
this holy crusade, until all the sick poor of 
these kingdoms are cared for as children of- 
God, it is surely the fact that so precious a 
life has been sacrificed in discharging a duty 
which, if the country had recognised it as a 
duty, ought to have been unnecessary after 
three centuries of a Poor Law. 


The last, words spoken to her were ^' You 
will soon be with your Saviour." Her reply- 
was, " I shall be well there." And so she 
passed away. In her coffin she had that 
listening, beaming expression, peculiar to 
her in life, as if always hearkening to the 
Master's bidding — in death, as if hearing the 
words, '^ Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

Years of previous action had prepared this 
young girl for her life of devotion. Her 
body was taken back to her own people, to 
be buried in her father's vault. 

All the old folks went out to meet her — 
old men and women of near ninety years of 
age who could scarcely move on crutches. 
The young men who had been her own 
scholars in her big boys' evening class, went 
a distance to meet the funeral, and carried in 
the coffin themselves. The school-children 
and school-mistresses gathered primroses and 
snowdrops and violets from all the country 


rounds and brought these^ and yew and ivy 
from the garden which she had planted for 
them herself. The whole district seemed to 
be there — at the grave of their dear one. 
But the hush of solemn silence was so great 
that they could hear the fall of the violets 
on the coffin. The grave was surrounded, 
first by rows of school-children — behind 
them, on one side the young women, on the 
other the young men of her Bible classes — 
and behind these again the elder women and 
men with whom she had read and prayed. 
She lay, after the service, completely strewn 
over with primroses and snowdrops showered 
upon her coffin. After all was over the 
school-children and mistresses sent a message 
to her poor sick paupers, that they would be 
glad to hear that their kind friend had been 
as gently laid in her grave as an infant laid 
to rest in its mother's arms. 

It is proposed to erect on the spot where 


she died perhaps the grandest religious statue 
ever sculptured by mortal hands — Tenerani's 
Angel of the Resurrection — as a fitting 
memorial of her work, and a type of the 
hope to come. Shall we not also build up 
living statues to her ? Let us add living 
flowers to her grave, '^lilies with full hands," 
— not fleeting primroses, not dying flowers. 
Let us bring the work of our hands, and oui 
heads, and our hearts, to finish her work 
which God has so blessed. Let her not 
merely " rest in peace," but let hers be the 
life which stirs up to fight the good fight 
against vice and sin, and misery and wretch- 
edness, as she did — the call to arms, which 
she was ever obeying : 

'' The Son of God goes forth to war. 
Who follows in* His train ?" 

O daughters of God, are there so few to 
answer ? 



** Now in thy youth beseech of Him 

Who giveth upbraiding not, 
That His light in thy heart become not dim 

And His love be unforgot ; 
And thy God in thy darkest days shall be 
Greenness and beauty anJ strength to thee.*' 

'TpHE use of biography, and especially Chris- 
-*- tian biography, is often questioned, and to 
some minds there is little if any interest in 
tracing the history of a life that has passed 
av^^ay, except as it is recorded in the work 
accomplished and the mark left upon the age. 
But there are others for whom this little book 
is specially intended, — friends who knew and 
loved the subject of this memoir, who will read 
with tender affection the story of her early life, 
and trace the leadings of God's hand in every 
step of the path she trod ; and others who did 
not know her, but to whom the life of any 



Christian woman — loving, tender, brave, and 
earnest as this vv^oman was — will have no small 
interest. For these I have traced dimly and 
most imperfectly, not a cold form of marble 
beauty, but a portrait of real life in the quiet of 
the domestic circle, in the unexciting duties of 
a remote country parish, in the crowded courts 
and alleys of London, and in the wards of city 
hospitals, ever seeking to do her Father's busi- 
ness and to please Him in all things. 

My sister, Agnes Elizabeth Jones, was born 
at Cambridge, November the loth, 1832, our 
father, who was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 12th 
regiment, having been ordered there a few days 
previously. Our mother's eldest sister, who 
was present at her birth, and who alone of all 
her relatives was with her in her last moments, 
writes of this time : — ^' When the tiny creature 
made her unexpected appearance there was but 
little hope of a vigorous life ; her father was 
absent with his regiment, which had been sud- 
denly ordered off to some town where disturb- 
ances were feared, and on his return his tender 
heart was much touched by the sight of the 


fragile little being : he had faint expectation of 
her surviving, and ardently desired that she 
should be baptized, which v^as done privately 
by the Rev. C. Simeon's curate ; she was after- 
wards received into the Church at Portsmouth, 
where the regiment next proceeded. She had 
many infantine illnesses, and continued very 
delicate until she was nearly two years old, 
when she was taken on a visit to Ireland, the 
native country of both her parents, and at her 
maternal grandfather's spent several months, 
growing healthy and strong in the pure coun- 
try air. She was now a very pretty child, with 
that brightness of eye which was ever one of her 
most striking features, sunny curling hair, and 
a light dancing step, full of joyous life. At 
this time she was occasionally violently pas- 
sionate, but at no later period can any instance 
of this be remembered.*' 

On the I2th August, 1837, -sve sailed with my 
father's regiment from Cork for Mauritius. 
The six years spent there were very happy ones 
to the bright little child, and vivid memories 
would often arise in after years of the birthday 

B 2 


excursions to the Pampelmousse gardens, where 
many beautiful palm-trees and rare tropical 
plants grew in native luxuriance, and of the 
pleasant months spent by the seaside at Mahe- 
bourg, where wonderful shells with rosy tints 
and pearly lining were now and then the prize 
of the eager searcher. Even at this time the 
love of nature was one of her characteristics. 
I remember, on one of those long happy days 
at the botanical gardens, her rapture at finding 
a skeleton leaf, whose delicate tracery seemed 
to her eye, with its quick perception of the 
beautiful, a most marvellous treasure. Long 
afterwards she would recall the scenery of the 
island with a distinctness which proved how 
deep an impression its southern loveliness had 
left on her memory. And meanwhile, circum- 
stances were moulding her character for the 
steadfastness of self-consecration which in after 
life distinguished her. No recollection of those 
early days comes back to me so often as her 
pleasure in accompanying our parents to the 
Bible readings held at the house of the French 
pastor, Monsieur Le Brun. Some years after- 


wards she wrote, *'I think my first real concern 
for my soul was awakened by the closing sen- 
tence of young M. Le Brun's sermon, one 
week-day evening. ' And now, brethren^ if you 
cannot answer me, how will you, at the last 
day, answer the Great Searcher of hearts V 
This sentence haunted me night and day for 
some time." 

Here, too, she became interested in the 
Madagascar Christians, then suffering cruel 
persecutions for conscience' sake. Some of 
them took refuge at Mauritius, and her delight 
at being taken to visit them was very great. 
At M. Le Brun's she heard much of those still 
undergoing oppression and torture, letters being 
often received from Mr. Johns and his wife. 
From this time a desire for missionary work 
took possession of her mind. The extreme 
reserve of her disposition prevented this 
being generally known, but from the time she 
was seven years old the dream of her life was 
to be one day a missionary. The wish, as she 
then formed it, for work among the heathen 
was never granted, but truly her whole life was 


a missionary work. In a paper of recollections 
of her early childhood she writes, *'I remember 
always having great love for any one I thought 
one of God's children. I loved going to church 
and listening to serious conversation. I was 
very fond of Mr. Banks and Mr. Fitzgerald 
because I thought they were true Christians.'* 

In 1843 our father's health obliged him to 
return to England, and not long after he left 
the army. The voyage home was a time of 
great enjoyment to us children, though from 
many circumstances it was very uncomfortable 
for our parents. A storm that was encountered 
tt few days before entering the English Channel 
taused the lives of all on board to be in peril 
For some hours, but we were unconscious of the 
danger and enjoyed the unusual scene — the 
dead lights in, — lamps burning all day in the 
darkened cabin, and furniture and boxes slip- 
ping from side to side as the vessel rolled 
heavily. At last the storm moderated, and 
holding our father's hand, we were allowed to 
venture on deck. At that moment an upturned 
boat was drifted past on a huge green wave, 


which curled over as if it would engulf the 
vessel. For the first time we seemed to realize 
what danger we had been in, and returned, 
silent and awed, to our mother's side. A few 
days later the pilot, who came on board off 
Land's End, brought English papers, one of 
which contained a graphic account of a ship- 
wreck that had taken place in that very storm. 
My father read this to us, and then asked us 
very solemnly where should we have been had 
not God in His mercy spared our vessel when 
others were lost. The question struck home to 
our hearts, and that evening both, with many 
tears and earnest prayers, desired to choose 
God as our portion. The impression then made 
appeared transient, but the feelings excited 
never wholly died away. It was the first call, 
which in loving mercy was repeated again and 
again until the wandering heart turned to its 
only true rest in the love of the Redeemer. 

The voyage was over, and English sights and 
sounds excited wonder and delight in us child- 
ren, to whom everything was new. We went 
almost immediately to my grandfather's country 


home in the north of Ireland. I seem to see 
Agnes now, as she bounded along the lanes, 
the day of our arrival at Ardmore, filling her 
little basket with violets and primroses, — new 
flowers to her then, but which had ever a pecu- 
liar charm for her. Our dear mother was 
greatly exhausted by the climate of Mauritius, 
and for a long time was in very delicate health. 
This prevented her continuing the care of our 
education, which had hitherto been entirely in 
her hands. About this time a phrenologist, 
who was passing through the neighbourhood, 
examined Agnes^s head, and, after doing so, said 
to her, ^*Take care, my little lady; this strong 
will of yours may lead you into great faults." 
On my mother questioning him further, he 
said, " Don't be uneasy, religion and love to 
her parents will be the ruling principles of her 
life." And, indeed, it was so, for, notwith- 
standing the extraordinary power of will which 
enabled her in after years to deny herself and 
control others in such a wonderful way, there 
was never, after early infancy, the slightest op- 
position of her will to that of her parents. Yet 


instances were not wanting in her childhood to 
show her strength of resolve and her determi- 
nation in carrying out a purpose once formed. 
Two examples of this may be given, — at Mau- 
ritius, when she was about eight years old, a 
friend sent her a present of a young kangaroo 
from Australia; an enclosure was made for it 
in the garden, and Agnes delighted to feed and 
visit it daily. One day as she opened the gate 
it escaped and bounded off into our neighbour's 
plantation. Agnes followed, fearing it might 
do mischief, climbed over the low wall which 
separated the two gardens, and, after a long 
chase, succeeded in capturing the fugitive ; 
some minutes afterwards my mother came into 
the garden, and was horror-struck to see her 
returning from the pursuit, the kangaroo, which 
she held bravely by its ears, struggling wildly 
for freedom and tearing at her with its hind 
feet, while her dress was streaming with blood 
from the wounds inflicted by its nails. Mamma 
called to her to let it go, but she would not do 
so until she got it safely into its house, although 
it was many a long day before she lost the 


marks of her battle and victory. Another in* 
stance of the same fixed resolve, whatever she 
might have to suffer in carrying it out, occurred 
some years later when she was about fourteen. 
My father was extremely fond of music, and 
very anxious that we should play well. Agnes 
had no taste for it, and it cost her much trouble 
to learn the simplest air. Knowing how much 
my father wished her to improve, she gave it 
her undivided attention, and laboured painfully 
to conquer the difficulty. At last she had 
mastered a piece sufficiently to play it before 
company, and one evening when a few friends 
were with us, she was told to get her music; 
she did so, and, by a strong effort of will, 
overcame her nervousness and played the 
piece through without a mistake. She then 
left the room without saying anything, and 
soon afterwards was found upstairs by one of 
the servants in violent hysterics. Had her 
teachers understood her character and the 
strength of her affectionate nature, much of the 
trial of the few years succeeding our return 
from Mauritius would have been spared her 


Our first governess was good and kind, but her 
successors were sadly stem and unsympathiz- 
ing. The change from our mother's gentle 
rule, which had made learning a delight ; the 
continual repression of everything like gladness 
by the severe regv,ne of the schoolroom ; the 
unvaried round of lessons made as unattractive 
as possible ; and, most of all, the want of love 
and encouragement, — all told on her sensitive 
and most reserved disposition. She was by no 
means a precocious child, and had learned to 
read with the greatest difficulty; indeed, her 
character and her faculties developed slowly, 
and some of her teachers thought her almost 
deficient in mental power. The greater part of 
the four years after our return to Ireland was 
spent at Fahan House, a small but very lovely 
spot on the banks of Lough Swilly. We all 
became much attached to this sweet home; 
but Agnes, especially, ever clung to it with the 
deepest affection. It lies nestled among trees 
at the foot of wild heath-covered hills, the 
waters of the blue lake rippling up to the foot 
of the lawn, and then stretching out to the 


grey hills at the other side. Every variety of 
scenery is combined in the little nook, — bare 
rocky mountains, which seem to bid defiance to 
the advance of cultivation, subsiding at their 
base into sunny cornfields or soft stretches of 
waving flax; wooded park-like domains, and 
bleak stony patches, alternating on the banks 
of that lovely lough, so appropriately called 
*' The Lake of Shadows,'' while here and there 
the blue smoke rises from isolated cottages 
which dot the landscape all along the winding 

Perhaps this is the least interesting, as it 
certainly was the least happy time of dear 
Agnes's life; outwardly she seemed to grow 
stupid and callous, taking no interest in her 
studies, and of the inner life we can find no 
record, save in a fragment of journal among 
her later papers. 

^^ Nov. loih, 1846. — To-day I am fourteen. 
When I look back at the past year, I see no- 
thing but sin, depravity, and unhappiness. I 
only feel that I have improved in m.usic. This 
morning I made many good resolutions ; I fear 


too much in my own strength, for in the course 
of the day I broke them all. 

*' Nov. iiih. — Awoke and wept at having 
broken my resolutions." 

These and such-like passages of her early 
journals have deeply impressed me with the 
thought that the tenderness of a child's con- 
science is seldom realized by those who en- 
deavour to guide and direct it. May it not be 
that we sometimes lay a burden too heavy to 
be borne on young hearts, because we judge 
them by our own, which have grown hardened 
by contact with the world and its ways ? Some 
there assuredly are, whose hearts should be 
rather trained to look up with loving trust than 
to look into themselves for faults which they 
mourn over in vain while they struggle to 
amend in their own strength. And Agnes had 
a peculiarly sensitive conscience; the smallest 
fault she magnified into a sin, and grieved for 
it accordingly. Then from her reserve, and the 
power she had of conceahng her emotion, no 
one knew of this hidden life, so that she had 
not the help she might have had. Yet this, 


doubtless, was not in vain : in those heart- 
struggles, seen only by the Eye of Love, w^ho 
v^atches over all ; in the lonely weeping for 
shortcomings and failures ; in the earnest reso- 
lutions, renewed as often as broken, we may 
trace the mouldings of the character to be de- 
veloped in after days. The early and the latter 
rain, the sunshine and the shower, were bring- 
ing out the latent beauty of the young plant 
which was hereafter to bear good fruit. 

In January, 1848, we were sent to the Miss 
Ainsworths' school, at Avonbank, Stratford-on- 
Avon. The change from the extreme severity 
of our governesses' rule to the pleasant cheerful 
work of this admirably-managed school, was 
soon felt, and the beneficial effects were seen in 
the advance made in study. Agnes, especially, 
needed affectionate and gentle guiding; her 
mental powers were as yet almost dormant. 
Kind and judicious discipline, combined with 
the stimulus of example and the encouragement 
of merited approbation, soon showed that her 
former teachers had been mistaken in their 
judgment of her capacity. She now became 


remarkable among her companions for steady 
application and earnest desire for improvement. 
She was less popular than many others, be- 
cause her mind was more set on advance in her 
studies than on amusement, and she required 
to give time and close attention to learn what 
some could master rapidly; but then, what 
she once learned was her ovm for ever, and 
years afterwards she would be ready with the 
date of an historical event or the definition of 
some abstract term which I had long ago for- 
gotten. Her ardent affectionate nature was 
drawn out in warmest love to Miss Harriet 
Ainsworth, who, perhaps, never realized all the 
gratitude she had called forth in the enthusi- 
astic young Irish girl, who now, for the first 
time, felt her powers brought into action, and 
her efforts to please appreciated. 

After two years and three months at school, 
my father, whose health had suddenly broken 
down in the autumn, was called away from 
earth on the 19th March, 1850. We were 
summoned home, but arrived some hours too 
late. I had no idea of Agnes's passionate love 


for her father until I read her papers and jour- 
nals, in which such constant reference is made 
to him, to what he was to her in life, and 
what his memory ever continued to be to 

She writes in 1856 : — '* Sunday is a day of 
many memories of my dear father ; it seems to 
me especially his. Perhaps the seeing most of 
him on that day made me first love Sunday; 
but I always much enjoyed going to church. 
At Mahebourg his service for the soldiers, then 
our crossing the river and evening worship in a 
solitary place. I could find these spots now, 
after all these years ; then standing by his side 
in the corner of the verandah, the moonlight 
streaming down upon us, learning and repeat- 
ing or hearing his hymns, and looking up to 
that dear face where was such holy love, joy, 
and peace, and the tears often as he repeated, 
' See from His head, His hands, His feet,' etc., 
or joined in the responses and singing in church. 
Oh, how I worshipped him ! Then the fre- 
quent hearing of his earnest prayers through 
the closed door of his dressing-room, impressed 


me deeply. His last words as he parted with 
us at Leamington some months before his 
death, were such a heartfelt * God bless you !' 
I remember how their solemnity thrilled mer 
he felt what we little guessed that our next 
look on that dear countenance would be when 
it was stiffened in death. I did not then gaze 
on it as I would now I had done, for the shock 
of my first view of death as the follower of a 
long illness, made me less mindful at the time 
of the sweet, peaceful, happy, loving look, which 
showed how death was to him robbed of its 
sting. But it was the first realization of or- 
phanhood, and I feared to ask permission to 
return, dreading to hear it was too late.** 

From this time Agnes's character developed 
more rapidly, especially in its simple, unselfish, 
devotion to others. She seemed to feel herself 
responsible for their comfort and happiness, 
and her mother, sister, and brother were the 
objects of a watchful care, which was ever 
ready to minister to them at any sacrifice of 
her own ease and pleasure. Childish things 
were laid aside, and a certain maturity of 



thought and feeling was perceptible. An out- 
side observer might have deemed that her 
Christian course v^as not yet begun, and as v^e 
look at the fair flower which later burst into 
such wondrous blossom, we seem to marvel 
whence it came and how it grew : no human 
eye saw the seed sown or watched the stem 
rise inch by inch, until the bud appeared ; but 
we believe that from very early childhood, her 
parents* prayers were receiving their answer, 
and that * First the blade, then the ear, and 
then the full corn,'' were watched and tended 
by the heavenly Husbandman, until at last, 
when fully ripe, it was transplanted from earth 
to bloom for ever in the fair paradise of God. 

That summer of 1850, the dear home at 
Fahan was left, as it was then believed, for ever, 
and my mother took us to Dublin, where she 
intended to reside, that we might have the 
benefit of masters. We attended the ministry 
of the Rev. John Gregg, now Bishop of Cork, 
and immediately joined his confirmation classes. 
His clear gospel-teaching and earnest personal 
appeal to the hearts of the young, awoke new 


desires after God. Her aunt and godmother, 
who ever watched over her spiritual life with 
the deepest interest, writes, ^' Her confirmation 
seemed to me the time of Agnes's real con- 
version ; she wrote me such a letter, and told 
me that, on returning to her pew, her sins had 
all seemed to rise up before her. From that 
time I truly believe the earnest desire of her 
heart was to live to God." One of her 
earliest labours of love, which was scarcely 
noticed by us at the time, was recalled to our 
memory fifteen years after, when my aunt met 
the lady, in whose house we lodged that winter, 
in Dublin. She asked kindly for us all, but 
especially for Agnes, and added, *^ I shall never 
forget how that young creature, all through the 
winter they spent in my house, used to come 
down to the kitchen every Sunday evening to 
read the Bible to Larry and Eliza" (servants 
in the house). There is an admirable Sunday- 
school in connection with Trinity Church, at 
which the children of the higher classes attend 
as well as the poor ; very soon after our arrival 
in Dublin we joined it, and were placed by Mr. 

c 3 


Gregg in a class taught by Miss Williams, a 
deeply experienced Christian, and one who pos- 
sessed the valuable power of imparting know- 
ledge and of touching the hearts of her pupils. 
Agnes ever retained a w^arm affection for her, 
and from time to time corresponded with her. 
This lady writes, ^^ I can never think of dear 
Agnes Jones now, but as casting her crown at 
His feet, in Whose footsteps she ever walked. 
Her first letter to me in 1851 is full of touch- 
ing interest ; how truly dear Mr. Gregg inter- 
preted her mind when he introduced her to me 
with others as ' anxious inquirers ' after his 
confirmation examinations. She was then in 
the valley of humility, when she did not dare to 
lift up her eyes to see the hand that was 
leading her. How circumspectly she walked, 
looking for every footprint by the light of the 
lamp before she placed her foot there ! 

'' Though she opened her mind so freely to 
me in writing, yet she was so overcome by an 
interview that I was obliged to give up visiting 
you in Gardiner Street ; it seemed so painful to 
her to speak before others, but in the class her 


intense appetite for the living bread was so 
apparent that I often felt myself speaking to 
her only, her calm gentle eyes fixed on me, as 
God helped me to speak.'* 

Before leaving the north of Ireland, we had 
met at Ardmore two ladies. Miss Mason and 
Miss Bellingham, both much engaged in mis- 
sionary work among the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland. Good and clever people were always 
most attractive to Agnes, and she at once 
formed a friendship with those devoted women, 
which was most valuable to her, and a source 
of much happiness. As they resided in Dublin, 
she saw them frequently during the winter, and 
became deeply interested in their work. Her 
attachment to Miss Mason ripened into a warm 
and lasting friendship, which had much influ* 
ence on her after life ; to her she often wrote 
for advice when in perplexity and depression, 
and through her she was introduced to some 
of her most valuable friends. 

In the spring of 1851, we went abroad fof 
some months, and on our return in the autumn 
I was sent to school at Brighton, while my 


mother and Agnes once more took up their 
abode in Dublin. She felt the separation from 
me very acutely, though for my mother's sake 
she tried to conceal her feelings. Her intense 
affection for those she loved was a source of 
much suffering to her ; the great reserve of her 
disposition seemed to make it impossible for 
her to show it fully by words or many outward 
signs, and it sometimes happened that the 
objects of her love were unaware of the al- 
most passionate depth of her feelings towards 
them. This was not the case, however, in 
her own immediate family, for none could 
mistake the loving devotion of her every look and 
word, though her private papers and journals 
reveal an agony at every separation which 
was little suspected at the time. Her extreme 
humility made her fancy herself inferior to 
others, and unworthy of their regard, and gave 
a constraint to her manner with strangers which 
often hid from them her real character. While 
to others she was ever most lenient in her 
judgment, to herself she was a stern dis- 
ciplinarian. From her journal, kept during 


this winter with tolerable regularity, or^e would 
fancy her to have been leading an idle useless 
life, so frequently do charges of indolence and 
negligence occur ; those who were with her at 
the time, however, tell a different story. She 
was studying most carefully ' Bacon's Essays ' 
and ' Butler's Analogy,' for classes on both, 
which she attended; she had German and 
drawing lessons three times a week, for which 
she prepared very diligently, and she was ever 
ready for any useful work which might offer. 
She was always busy about something ; from 
early girlhood one never saw her with h^r hands 
unemployed, and the amount of work of all 
kinds she accomplished in this way was wonder- 
ful. My father had encouraged us as children 
to write out during the week our recollection 
of the Sunday sermons, and this practice Agnes 
never gave up until time failed her for it in the 
last few years of overwhelming work, yet to 
the last she wrote out recollections of any pe- 
culiarly striking or profitable sermons. To 
my mother she was ever the tender loving 
child and the wise trusted friend; over my 


brother she watched with a yearning love, 
which could never express the affection she bore 
him, and to me she was like a mother, sister, 
and friend in one. It is not easy to put into 
words the love of a lifetime, and there are 
depths of tender memories with which a 
stranger intermeddleth not, but if any true 
idea is to be given of the subject of this memoir, 
the beauty of her home life cannot be passed 
over in silence. Never did the charm of un- 
selfishness appear more perfect than in her 
character ; she seemed incapable of a selfish 
act or of a selfish thought ; as if of themselves 
her thoughts ever turned to others, their 
pleasure, their wishes, and while she thought 
of herself only to blame, she could see no 
fault where she loved. During this winter 
she began her classes in the Lurgan Street 
Ragged School, where the deep spiritual and 
physical need of her scholars awakened her 
liveliest interest and called forth her deepest 

In the summer of 1852, my two aunts, with 
Agnes and myself, made a short tour in 


Connemara, and all her enthusiasm was excited 
by the wild scenery of the west, while her heart 
was drawn out in ardent love to the poor but 
intelligent peasantry, many of whom are 
wholly ignorant of the English language, and 
all of whom had been brought up in utter ig- 
norance of the truth as it is in Jesus. We 
visited many of the schools, and as the 
Bishop of Tuam, with a large body of clergy, 
was making a confirmation tour at the time, 
we heard several examinations of the bright- 
faced children in the schools, whose answers 
astonished and delighted us. The orphan 
nursery at Ballyconree especially interested 
Agnes ; and the meeting again her kind friends 
Miss Bellingham, then Mrs. D'Arcy, the wife 
of the rector of Clifden, and Miss Gore, was 
an additional pleasure. She would willingly 
have stayed behind us in the west to work 
for God with Miss Gore at Ballyconree, in 
that great field so wonderfully opened up for 
the labourer, and though duty called her away, 
it did seem as if her life-long desire for mission- 
ary work might some day find its realization in 


that sphere. She chose one school which 
seemed in special need, and for some years 
collected funds for the payment of the master. 
So brightly did she picture the delights of life 
among the mountains of Connemara, that a 
friend gave her the name of '^ the recluse of 
Clare Island," and often playfully asked her 
when she intended to migrate to the wilds of 
the far west. The next autumn and winter 
were spent at Kingstown, and there she found 
some poor people to visit, and divided her time 
between self-improvement and usefulness to 

Early in 1853, we started for the Continent, 
and six pleasant months were spent in France, 
Germany, and Switzerland. Agnes's journal 
is full of vivid descriptions of the scenery 
through which we passed, and the historical 
associations of the cities we visited, while at 
the same time her practical mind was ever 
ready to gain information from the manners 
and customs of the people, their public insti- 
tutions, etc. In this age of travelling, when 
every one is familiar with the Continent, either 


through books of travel or from personal ex- 
perience, few would care to read a young girl's 
history of her first impressions of foreign life. 
I shall, therefore, only extract from her journal 
the passages which relate to the foreign deacon- 
ess institutions, of which she now heard for the 
first time, and which were to influence so 
decidedly her whole after life. 

'' Paris, April 25th, 1853. — To-day we went 
to a meeting of the ^ CEuvre des Diaconesses,' 
Rue de Neuilly. It was held in the chapel of 
the institution, which was crowded. There 
are in all thirty-six sisters, two of whom are 
from the German parent institution at Kaisers- 
werth. They have three divisions or branches 
of labour. There are the apprentices, the peni- 
tentiary or refuge, and the Misciplinaire pour 
les enfants ;' there are also schools and an in- 
firmary. There is always a reserve fund for 
the support of the sisters when old or leaving 
the institution. The great want is sisters, for 
not only are there not enough for the work of 
the house in Paris, but many are also required 
for work in the provinces, particularly in the 


Salles d'Asile. A rival establishment of Roman 
Catholic Sisters of Charity has been opened 
near. The house of the Protestant Deaconesses 
has not, however, been emptied, as they pre- 
dicted, but is too small. It is like the Kaisers- 
werth institution, which has sisters at Jerusa- 
lem, Smyrna, St. Petersburg, and elsewhere." 

Early in June we reached Bonn, on the 
Rhine, where some weeks were spent very 
happily. Much of our time was taken up pre- 
paring for masters, but the afternoons were 
generally devoted to long country walks and 
drives, which were often enlivened by the plea- 
sant and profitable conversation of the Rev. W. 
Graham, a missionary to the Jews, who had 
been for some years settled at Bonn. On June 
2ist, we all went over to Kaiserswerth, accom- 
panied by Mr. Graham, and spent a long sum- 
mer's day in visiting the various schools, hos- 
pitals, and other departments of that most 
valuable institution. Little did we think of the 
deep effect that day's visit was to produce. 
The detailed account in her journal is too long 
to give here, but will be found in the appendix. 


She concludes the vivid description of its 
various departments of labour with the follow- 
ing words, which seem almost prophetic : — 

*' As we drove av/ay, my great wish was that 
this might not be my last visit to Kaiserswerth. 
Surely such visits should not be unprofitable ; 
if the thoughts of that day be blessed, and its 
impressions deepened, it will not I trust be so. 
That visit was, I believe, a talent committed to 
our care ; may it not be buried/* 

And a few days later she writes again : — 
" Bonn, June 2yth. — At breakfast it was pro- 
posed, and Mamma consented to the plan, that 
Aunt E and I should spend a week at Kai- 
serswerth in order the better to understand the 
whole working of the institution. This is more 
than I ever dared to hope. How thankful I 
should be ! May a blessing attend that visit ; 
may my feeble desires to do good to others be 
deepened and purified. The Lord has heard 
my prayers and answered them in an unexpect- 
ed manner ; surely this visit should be an en- 
couragement to prayer, and a seal that God 
will answer it. Lord, Thou hast in this an- 


svvered my prayer ; add yet other blessings ; oh, 
give me a large measure of Thy spirit. Go 
with us, Lord, to Kaiserswerth ; be with us and 
bless us. Make all things now and then to 
work for Thy glory and our good. Sanctify us 
wholly ; sanctify our desires and thoughts. If 
Thou be not with us, Satan can turn even these 
wishes to evil. Teach us how needful watch- 
fulness is, especially at this time. If Thou go 
not with us, carry us not up hence ; but if it be 
for Thy honour and our good, take us there, 
and let me not forget, that as in this one 
thing Thou hast heard me, so Thou wilt ever 

** It may be pleasant in a few years to know 
with what feelings I looked upon the going to 
Kaiserswerth, for it seems to me that it wil) 
exercise a great influence on my future life, 
have no desire to become a Deaconess ; that 
would not, I think, be the place I should be 
called upon to occupy. No, my own Ireland 
first. It was for Ireland's good that my first 
desire to be used as a blessed instrument in 
God's hand was breathed ; it was for Ireland's 


good that my desire to find the Lord for myself 
took a tangible form ; it was for Ireland's good 
that I have prayed to be used ; and though I 
think, if I saw an opening, I could be content 
to be sent to other lands, yet in Ireland is it 
my heart's desire to labour. But though I do 
not see that as a Kaiserswerth Deaconess I 
should be taking my proper position, yet I do 
believe that, as a training-school for usefulness, 
some months spent at Kaiserswerth would be 
of untold value. I have now the desire, but 
not the power, but there is not a branch of use- 
fulness in which I may be called to occupy my- 
self that I should not have been to a degree 
prepared for. At my age, such a training of 
the powers and such a training of the desires 
would, if blessed by God, have a great effect on 
my character. These considerations are all 
strongly in favour of my going to Kaiserswerth. 
But again, ought I to leave Mamma ? If she 
gave me an unbiassed and free permission, I 
think that, for a time, I might, but she is not 
anxious for it ; she sees it might not be for my 
good in some ways. It is then my duty not to 


press the subject. May I be grateful to her for 
this permission, and wait until a way is opened, 
as, if it be indeed for my good, it will be, and 
be happy and contented with the blessings I 
enjoy, not letting my mind dwell on what I 
imagine would make me happy. If only eyes 
are open to see them, there are enough ways of 
usefulness before me if I can never go to Kai- 

The next entry, though not bearing directly 
on the subject, I venture to quote, as calculated 
to show Agnes as she then was; it is a true 
picture of the young hearths simple consecration 
of itself to God. Here we see her turning to 
Him from all earthly enjoyments ; finding Him 
in all beautiful things ; desiring Him above all 
things in the midst of her youth and freshness, 
before the sorrows, or disappointments, or cares 
of life had cast a single shadow on her un- 
clouded path. 

^^ Jtme 28th. — The heat was very great this 
morning. After dinner we took a carriage to 
Mehlem, and crossed to Konigswinter on the 
flying-bridge. Thence we ascended the Dra* 


chenfels, some on donkeys, others on foot. 
From the top, the view in both directions is 
most beautiful. As you look down the preci- 
pice, on the edge of w^hich the ruins stand, you 
see to the right the Rhine as far as Cologne, 
the spire of Bonn, Godesberg, and some vil- 
lages along the bank, the only landmarks, the 
country being flat but rich ; to the left are seen 
Rolandseck and the tower above; below, the 
two islands and the winding river for some dis- 
tance; two large villages lie at your feet; beyond, 
wooded hills and the quarries from which the 
stone was brought of which Cologne Cathedral 
is built. We went round to the other side, and 
sat there, in the cool shade of the old tow^er, 
having before us the rich country and dark 
woodland, and opposite the quarries, from 
wkence now and then we heard the rolling 
stones which are thus sent down the steep de- 
scent, and from the island of Nonnenwxrth 
:ame the sound of convent bells. Very sweet 
were they to our ears, because we were free, 
free at will to be of use to others, not in a cer- 
tain specified way, not by being immured for 


life within convent walls, but free wherever the 
pointings of duty lead us, in whatever situation 
is right, free to point to others the way to ob- 
tain blessings which are theirs as well as ours. 
There we sat, Mr. G., aunts, mamma, J., and 
I, a happy thankful party. We talked of poets, 
poetry, English and German, then of the crea- 
tive faculty of imagination, the most godlike 
left to man, and then, turning to the beauteous 
diorama spread before us, Mr. G. spoke of the 
likelihood that we might, as disembodied spirits, 
think of that evening when we had gazed on 
our Creator's glorious work; we might even 
visit it again. He thinks that, with body and 
soul reunited, the saints shall again inhabit this 
earth, for neither it nor any of God's works 
shall be annihilated. The God-man shall reign 
over this kingdom ; the realization of Jacob's 
ladder will connect heaven with earth, and the 
angels ascending and descending be the mes- 
sengers between. We could have sat there 
long, but it was getting late, so we rose with 
solemn thoughts and, having taken another 
look at the scene around, returned to the hotel, 


where, in a little arbour overhanging the valley, 
v^e took our coffee, amusing ourselves- feeding 
some cocks and hens, the first we have seen for 
some time. The clouds were very beautiful, 
and the soft rays of the setting sun, half 
screened from our view by a golden cloud, 
were most exquisite. The whole landscape ap- 
peared even more beautiful than in the morn- 
ing. During our drive home, Mr. G. spoke of 
the principle of compensation. If a tree be 
planted and grow alone, it will not in a number 
of years have reached to more than half the 
height of a grove of trees planted at the same 
time; alone, it will weather the storm, and 
every blast will only root it more firmly in the 
ground ; but cut down all but one of the trees 
in a grove, a gust of wind will level it, because 
those trees which are planted together only 
strike their roots to that depth, which with 
their mutual support will enable them to stand; 
so it is among Christians, those who, like many 
in India and elsewhere, have to stand alone, 
bear nobly up against the storm, and in Eng- 
land, where many are together, they only just 
keep their footing. D 2 


*' He parted from us at our door, thanking us 
for having drawn him from his solitude. What 
a blessing we should esteem it to have such a 
man with us ! '* 

A few days later she writes from Kaisers- 
werth : — 

^^ My darling J., — Though none of the 
dreadful things you imagined have happened to 
me, I was very glad to receive your letter, and 
to hear that you are all so well. We breakfast 
at six^ dine at twelve, have tea at four, and 
supper at seven, bed at ten. This is a very 
busy day, and we have seen neither Louisa 
Fliedner nor my dear friend Hedwig, who are 
generally much with us. Wir lieben zusammen, 
as they say. They both speak English very 
well, especially the latter. Yesterday ' I had 
such a pleasant talk with her; she believes 
that I shall come back here ; I am sure I shall 
if it be for my good. Dear Hedwig ! she was 
telling me I must not expect to find all cotdetir 
de rose in the service of the Lord here ; in so 
many things we feel the same. She belongs to 
one of the very highest families in Germany ; 


now she is principally engaged in teaching in 
the seminarist's house, but even the pastor 
himself was astonished at the cheerfulness 
with which, as ^ probe Schwester,' she did any 
menial work. Each person here is, as far as 
possible, assigned to the work for which they 
are best fitted. There is much freedom in- 
every way. Each ward has its deaconess, who 
has many ^ probe Schwestern' under her ; all 
responsibility devolves on the sister, and one 
evening every week each sister comes to con- 
sult with the mother (Madame Fliedner) and 
tell her her difficulties and trials. The mother 
is indeed a mother, overseeing all, helping and 
advising all. Yesterday, being the first Sun- 
day in the month, all went to the church at 
night, and there was a special prayer for all 
the sisters here and abroad. In the fifteen 
institutions in different parts of the world there 
is a prayer meeting at the same hour; this , 
meeting in spirit is much prized. There is 
such love between all, and every one is so free, 
no one would think it a convent. Love seems 
indeed, as far as human nature permits, to per- 


vade every action. I am so happy here ; it is 
so delightful to see every one so busy, and in 
the Lord's work ; all are so loving and excel- 
lent, their whole hearts are in the work. It is 
a blessed thing to be among them. I wish you 
would all come here. Aunt and I went with 
Louisa Fliedner, seven of her insane patients, 
and five deaconesses to a farm near this, where 
we had some coffee. The patients enjoy this, 
and it is good for them ; Louisa begged us to 
talk to them, as it pleased them so much. Fancy 
us for three hours walking and talking with 
these people in German. Not only the labour 
of talking German so long, but the anxiety lest 
I should touch a dangerous point, made it 
rather fatiguing. All went off well. We 
walked along the mill-stream, and they went 
in a boat on the mill-pond ; they were so 
obedient, and the deaconesses seemed only 
amusing themselves, but never took their eyes 
off the patients. One old lady was very inqui- 
sitive, some would scarcely speak, but all were 
pleased with the foreigners. Yesterday I was 
in the hospital and infant school all day. If 


any one comes here to find quiet rest, or soli- 
tude, they are very much mistaken, for all are 
busy, yet have their work so beautifully appor- 
tioned that there is never anything neglected 
or left undone, yet no bustle. Link within 
link binds all together, not only in the house 
here, but to the 102 deaconesses abroad.'^ 

A few days later she returned to us at Bonn, 
and the following week we started for Switzer- 
land, where she had much enjoyment. Physi- 
cally strong, and not knowing what fear was, 
she would have willingly ventured on the most 
perilous mountain expeditions ; but in this, as 
in all else, she yielded at once to my mother's 
wishes, and gave up without a look of disap- 
pointment her desire for adventure. A visit to 
Mr. Malan, at Geneva, made a deep impression 
on her mind. 

'* Geneva, Sept, 5th. — This morning, accord- 
ing to Mr. Malan's invitation, we went to visit 
his school. Here we were delighted with the 
children, the order and quiet. He sent for us, 
and we spent an hour with him. I trust I may 
never forget his conversation." 


On our return to Ireland in the autumn of 
1853, she resumed her former life in Dublin, 
only devoting more time to teaching in the 
ragged schools than she had done before ; 
earnestly she desired more work for God, and, 
from her private papers, it would seem that 
she blamed herself for indolence and care- 
lessness, because she did not do more ; yet 
never did ^he neglect home duties, or leave 
undone what was ready to her hand. She 
seldom spoke of Kaiserswerth, and I knew 
nothing of her unabated desire to return there, 
but in her journal, under the date of June, 
1855, is the following passage, which shows 
how the wish remained strong as ever : — 

" When this time two years ago, I left Kai- 
serswerth, my wish and prayer were that I 
might some time return there to be fitted and 
trained for active work in my Father's service. 
How often since have that wish and prayer 
been breathed ! I may almost say they have 
been ever with me ; and though I acknowledge 
that they should have had greater effect in 
making me use my small knowledge and 


stirred me up to greater exertions, still, with 
gratitude I write it, they have never had such 
an undue influence as to make me discontented 
and impatient that my wish was ungratified, — 
my prayer unanswered ; and when, a few short 
days ago, mamma proposed my going in Au- 
gust, with what trembling joy did I find that 
accorded, unasked, which I should not have 
thought it right to ask. May I take this fact 
alone as the pillar of fire to lead me on ? It is 
the way that inclination points, therefore, an 
investigation as to the direction of duty will be 
only fair. Inclination may lead to self-decep- 
tion. O God, for Jesus' sake, direct me. The 
duty on the side of Kaiserswerth is clear, and 
may be summed up in a few words. As we 
use means to fit us for any earthly profession, 
so are we bound to use every means which will 
enable us to adorn our Christian profession. 
This is a means : it is now offered to me. 
If God sends me and blesses me, it may be a 
means for His glory and the good of my fellow- 
creatures. If I go, Lord sanctify my motives. 
An application of * Lord, let me first go and 


bury my father,' struck me to-day. There is, 
when I leave my mother even for a short day, 
a half-unacknowledged, undefined fear that I 
may not see her again, and this comes over me 
when I think of leaving her to go to 'Kaisers- 
werth. ' Lord, let me wait till death removes 
my father, then I will follow Thee,' said a man 
to Jesus. The answer bade him come at once. 
J. is now with mamma; this may be the most 
convenient time for leaving her. Life is short, 
the work to be done, great ; the preparation 
should be made at once." 

This paper is broken off abruptly, and when 
it is resumed, it appears that circumstances 
had occurred which made her feel it right once 
more to defer the visit ; yet so simply and un- 
selfishly was this done, that, though it was for 
my sake she gave up her wishes on the subject, 
I never knew till long afterwards that the idea 
of her going had been proposed to her. The 
sentence in her journal in which she refers to 
the disappointment is so characteristic that I 
cannot forbear inserting it : — 

^^ y^/>', I855. — Had arrangements remained as 


before, I should have gone to Germany, but the 

nearer time now fixed for J,*s marriage alters 

the case. I did not know how much my heart 
was set on it until I heard of the change of 

plans, which seemed to put an obstacle in the 

way ; yet how could I give up the last time of 

our being all together ! surely my place is at 

home, and if I am to be trained for usefulness, 

a way will be opened. I prayed to be led ; my 

pillar moves not on, and I will not go.*' 

The winter of 1855-56, was spent at Port 
Stewart, and early in the following spring my 
mother and Agnes returned to the old home 
at Fahan House. The delight which this ar- 
rangement gave to all our party, became in 
Agnes's case almost overpowering happiness. 
She thus writes, March 6 : — 

*' Drove down to dear Fahan on a business 
expedition. Oh ! the happy feeling of being able 
to look on it now as almost our home. For 
some time after we came in sight of it, the 
thought was unmixed joy. Then the little 
churchyard reminded us of the dear father who 
lay there, and recalled to us that here is not 


our home, and, therefore, with the words of 
thanksgiving which arose to my lips, came 
those of prayer, that in the few years we may 
be blessed by remaining in that once happy 
and now fondly looked for home, my own ease 
and happiness may not be consulted, but that 
I may live for the glory of God and good of 




*^ She doeth little kindnesses 
Which most leave undone or despise ; 
For naught that sets one heart at ease 
And giveth hajjpiness or peace 
Is low esteemed in her eyes. 

" Yet in herself she dwelleth not, 
Although no home were half so fair ; 
No simplest duiy is forgot ; 
Life hath no dim and lowly spot 
That doth not in her sunshine share. 

" Blessing she lo, — God made her so, 
And deeds of week-day holiness 
Fall from her noiseless as the snow : 
Nor hath she ever chanced to know" 
That aught were easier than to bless." — LovelU 

A FEW extracts from Agnes's journal at 
-^ ^ this time will show the spirit in which 
she re-entered the home of her childhood : — 

^^ jftme 4th, 1856. — Came down to Fahan for 
a couple of days to get the house ready. Every 
§tep by the way seemed to recall something. 

46 FAHAN. 

The little court-house at Burnfoot brings back 
the memory of that dear father whose last day 
of health was spent there that he might speak 
for the poor : further on, the hill^ where we as 
children often went to meet grandpapa when 
he was coming to see us ; soon the view of 
Fahan recalled in contrast our last look when 
leaving our home six years ago, and the remain- 
ing distance was spent in prayer for guidance 
and strength for my new duties. May God 
grant us many days here, if they be devoted to 
His service ; if He will so honour us as to 
make us useful, to Him be all the glory. Lord, 
do Thou be with us and bless us and draw us 
nearer to Thee, and oh, may we not enter Thy 
kingdom alone, — enable us to bring many to 
the knowledge of Thee. I ran round the gar- 
den with almost childish glee ; care and sorrow 
seemed to have fled, — the weight of the last 
few years removed. A few seconds I knelt in 
that dear hallowed dressing-room — formerly 
my father's, and now to be mine — Jto ask for a 
blessing from the Lord on my coming here. 
Out of doors I feel as if I had never left the 


place ; every tree and weed and bramble seems 
unchanged. But the mind goes off to the past, 
the eye lights on the face of some unknown 
child, then the feeling of the interim returns 

At Fahan the long-cherished dream of a life 
devoted to the sick and sorrowful began to be 
realized. In the school ; by the sick-bed of the 
dying ; in the lowly cottage where some sudden 
accident had brought sorrow and despair, and 
where her gentle self-possession and prompt, 
wise action seemed often to bring healing and 
hope ; everywhere she was to be found about 
her Father's business. None who saw can 
ever forget her as she would return from those 
distant lonely walks ; her colour brightened by 
the keen mountain air, her curls blown about 
by the breeze, and her fair, happy face beaming 
with the consciousness of having brought com- 
fort and blessing to some of God's poor. She 
had a very tender and loving sympathy for the 
poor, and often writes of the happiness it was 
to her to be among them. When on a visit at 
the house of one of my uncles, she writes :— 

4^ FAHAN. 

'* I have to this place a feeling that I have to 
no other, save Fahan, from the knowledge that 
here a few poor look on me as a friend. How 
the heart leaps with joy to see a look or smile 
of welcome from the poor, much more than at 
a warmer reception from the rich !** And 

*' March, 1857. — I thank God for the great 
blessing of health and strength to go amongst 
the poor. What a sore trial it would be to be 
forced to cease from visiting them ! their cordial 
welcome cheers me, and the hope of doing them 
good is such an incentive ; when I come to one 
who is a Christian, and hear her prayers for 
me, then there rises within me a deep well* 
spring of joy. - • 

*' October, 1S57* — To-day, winter came in hail 
and snow and bitter cold. I put on winter 
array, but felt almost ashamed to go into the 
cottages so warmly clothed. What a contrast 
between visitor and visited ! Who made me 
to differ ? Healthy strength, and this warm 
clothing enabling me to go out in all weather, 
are talents.; oh, may each and ail be more 

FAHAN. 49 

and more used for His glory Who gave and 
can take away. A blessing to-day from old 
Mrs. W. warmed me so that I felt not the 
cold ; she said, * The Lord love you, for I love 
you.' " 

Another time when leaving home before 
Christmas: — 

'^ Dec. 20th, 1856. — I do not like to give the 
poor their Christmas gifts so long before. I 
would like the joy to come to them on that 
day, to go myself with each little love-token. 
What joy is like that called forth by the grati- 
tude of the poor, often too big for words ! I 
never know whether to laugh or cry. Among 
the many thanks and blessings I have received 
to-day, none have been as hearty or overpower- 
ing as widow D.'s, and her prayer for me was 
that God would never leave or forsake me, but 
bring me safe to heaven. The blessings of an 
aged saint come so home to one, while the 
words of others seem an empty form.'* 

Every morning, unless detained by home 
duties, she set off on her rounds after break- 
fast, returning to early dinner, only to start 


50 t'AHAN. 

again immediately afterwards, and prolonging 
her absence often until the darkness had closed 
in. No weather deterred her ; no distance 
was too great ; no road too lonely. She never 
seemed to think it could be a question whether 
the fatigue or exposure was too much for her ; 
she was naturally strong, but often she over- 
taxed her strength ; and when suffering from 
severe headaches would set off in the morning 
earlier than usual to see some sick person, 
knowing that later in the day when the pain 
had reached its height, she would be unable 
to move. Many times in winter she came 
back from her mountain walks with her cloak 
stiff with ice and her hands benumbed with 
cold ; but nothing could damp her brave spirit, 
and the joy of her work kept her up. During 
the live years she remained at Fahan, there 
was no cessation in those busy labours, except 
during one short visit to Dublin in the spring 
of 1857. Her skill in prescribing for the sick, 
and her gentle but firm touch in dressing 
wounds, and especially in cases of burns and 
scalds, soon became famous in the neighbour- 



hood, and the poor people came many miles 
across the mountains to consult her, and to 
get medicines, salve, etc. The turf-fires on 
the cottage hearths, round which little children 
often gather without much watching or care, 
are the fruitful source of many severe burns, 
and, on such occasions, Agnes was always 
sent for. Sometimes it was a very fearful 
sight that met her, but she never shrank from 
anything because it was painful, if she could 
but relieve suffering, and day after day she 
would go to dress the burns until her care 
was no longer needed. She was so conside- 
rate, too, so thoughtful of their comfort ; never 
forgetting to take cake or fruit for the poor 
little sufferer to beguile it during the painful 
dressing, as well as more substantial food, 
where that was needed. Roman Catholics as 
well as Protestants were visited and cared for ; 
she made^ no distinction of creed or sect in 
ministering to the needy ones, and wherever 
she was allowed to do so, she never paid a 
visit without reading at least a few verses of 
the Bible. Then she would say a little by way 

E 2 

52 FAHAN. 

01 explanation, so simply that the youngest 
child could understand, yet so earnestly and 
practically that none could listen unimpressed. 
Her own deep sense of responsibility and the 
tenderness of her conscience, ever ready to 
condemn herself, made her often mourn very 
deeply over the apparent want of success attend- 
ing her visits. A few extracts from her journal, 
taken from different periods, may, perhaps, 
help to bring her life more vividly before the 
reader : — 

''Nov. i^thy 1856. — To-day I went to old 
Mrs. D. ; she seemed very low, but I trust her 
hope is sure. My thoughts went back to 
former visits. Have I really set the whole 
Gospel before her? How humbling to go 
time after time and feel such want of words 
and want of power in setting Jesus forth ! As 
I went into a new cottage to-day, many doubts 
arose. When I can do so little in speaking 
awakeningly to those I visit, why go to more ? 
but this w^as a temptation to yield to my foolish 
timidity. He who knows the thoughts an- 
swered mine, for when I left the cottage, a 

FAHAN. 53 

stranger came up saying, ' I hear you lend 
tracts, and should be glad of some.' This is 
indeed encouragement, for which I thank God. 
The promise is beginning to be realized to me, 
' He that watereth others shall be watered 
himself;' for when I read and try to explain a 
chapter, passages strike me with a force of 
which I knew nothing when reading alone. 

** Nov. ^oth. — How often do Mr. A.'s words 
warn or comfort me ! To-day those which 
came home to my heart were words of en- 
couragement, truly God-sent, ' The Lord hath 
need of thee.' How often, in my secret heart, 
do I long to avoid this or that visit and wish 
to postpone it ! Even to-day I thought, ' The 
snow is heavy, the roads slippery; my head- 
ache severe ; how gladly I would remain at 
home V but how could I with those words in 
my ears ? each step was cheered by them ; 
better than the cry ' Excelsior ' came those 
soft, gentle, loving words, ' The Lord hath 
need of thee.' He so high, the Lord of heaven 
and earth, with His myriads of angels, can 
He use, much less need the Jristrumentality of 

54 FAHAN. 

such as I ? If it be so, and I read also, ^ Thou 
knowest not whether shall prosper this or 
that,' shall I let a little thing stop me ?" 

^^ February 2^th, — On my return from Ard- 
more last evening, I ran up to see poor little. 
M. W., who I heard was dying. She took and 
held my hand, and, from its motion in answer 
to my question, signified her sure dependence 
on Christ alone. Dear little girl, I feel so sure 
of her safety ; many things she has said to me 
prove her trust to be placed on the Rock of 

'* March ist. — M. W. died last night. Jesus' 
words, ' He that believeth on Me though he 
were dead, yet shall he live/ seemed so true 
of her as I gazed on the dead face ; dead yet 

** March 14th. — Mrs. L. died yesterday. The 
last words I heard her say as I supported her 
in my arms were, ' I will fear no evil, for Thou 
art with me.* This was about twelve hours 
before she went to be with Jesus. Hers was 
no deathbed repentance, — long ago that was 
all done, and peace with God was hers. I fdt 

FAHAN. 55 

— 's death so much, and the circumstance that 
of none who have died since I came here, could 
I look to more than a hope of a deathbed 
change ; I prayed that the next might be one 
of whom I could feel certain ; the answer 
came, little M. \V. and Mrs. L. have joined 
the heavenly choir.'' 

^^ March 28th. — On my way to see M. A. R. 
to-day, the Lord, I trust, sent me a word of 
such beauty and encouragement. Isaiah xxxv, 
8, ^ A highway shall be there and a way, and it 
shall be called the way of holiness, the unclean 
shall not pass over it, but (margin, for he shall 
be with them) the wayfaring men though fools 
shall not err therein;' oh, what a blessed pro- 
mise ! The way of holiness, which seems so 
unattainable, He will give help to walk in to 
those who seek it; even fools, poor weak foolish 
sinful ones, such as I, shall not err therein, shall 
maintain a consistent walk, if we only see His 
presence here promised, ' for he shall be with 
them.' Oh, be so with me, Lord ! guiding, 
guarding my footsteps, that they err not in the 
way of holiness." 

$6 FAHAN. 

** April i8ih.—lt is long since I wrote. Pas- 
sion week with its sacred services and many 
privileges is passed. The coming week seems 
to promise trial of a kind which I feel most 
sensibly, and yet cannot explain to friends. I 
am going to E.'s wedding ; gay scenes are be- 
fore me ; may I not by my narrow-mindedness 
disgrace the holy name I bear, and put my 
Saviour to shame. Oh, may I have grace to 
perceive and know what I ought to do to pre- 
serve the right medium. How beautifully ap- 
propriate is this week's collect, ' Follow the 
blessed steps of His most holy life ! ' Oh, for 
some of the spirit in which he went to the mar- 
riage feast ! Oh, so to shine in His reflected 
light as to attract some to Him, and not repel 
them from Him !" 

''May i^th. — I am weighed down sometimes 
with the sense of responsibility and short- 
coming. With this crushing feeling I was 
coming home this evening, taking my Satur- 
day's review of the past week, but as I came 
near our gate the lovely scene before me 
seemed to lift off the load of care : the church 


and trees behind it were bathed in a heavenly 
flood of light, the rays of the setting sun ; it 
seemed unearthly; I almost listened for the 
angels' songs, but a sweeter note perchance to 
flesh and blood was the assurance brought 
home by the scene of a loving Friend Who is 
touched with the feeling of His people's infir- 
mities. I do not the less feel my own short- 
comings, but I feel in my weakness the strength 
engaged for me; — the sweet promise; * All that 
the Father giveth me shall come to me;' shall 
come, however far short human instrumentality 
falls of their need. His crown shall not want 
a jewel, but if believers do not live up to their 
privileges, if they tire and faint, their crowns 
may be less bright because they will not avail 
themselves of the honour He allows them, of 
being His instruments in winning souls. They 
will not be less safe, but less happy; further 
from Him, perhaps, because in a lower place 
in heaven. I would be ambitious of a high 
place there ; nearer, Jesus, to Thee. Oh, for 
a heart burning with love to Jesus." 

** Whitstmday. — The deep feeling of thanks- 


giving that I am a member of the Church of 
England, which often makes me class it among 
my many mercies, was never more deep than 
to-day. The commemoration of the first be- 
stowal of that gift of gifts, the Holy Spirit, is 
indeed a holy season, a day much to be thought 
of in prayer beforehand, and not to be forgotten 
when past. It seems such hallowed ground, I 
grudge that its hours have nearly fled. Oh, 
the lovely promises connected with this day, 
the chain of gems, brightest and best that 
which names Him Teacher and Remem- 
brancer. How much I need Him ! Lord, on 
me, and on all dear, mother, sister, brother, 
let this blessing come ; give to Mr. A. a double 
portion of Thy Spirit, and oh ! for Fahan, 
water it also, and bless our dear, dear Church 
and its ministers, and keep its beautiful ser- 
vices intact. Thank God for them." 

'* October ^rd. — Went up before breakfast to 
see Mrs. B., who I heard was worse. A party 
of friends were staying in the house and I was 
to take them to Dunree, so feared I might not 
have time later. She seemed happy ; no mur- 


mur; not the old longing for death, but a 
trusting dependence on Christ's finished work 
for her. As we sat at breakfast after my re- 
turn, Mrs. P. came in a distracted state ; her 
child was fearfully burned. 'The doctor is 
from home, and the minister is from home^ and 
oh, Mis^ Jones, you must come; all my de- 
pendence is on you.' I could get no particu- 
lars from her, so collecting all I thought neces- 
sary, I rushed off up the hill and arrived at the 
cottage before the mother. The child was in- 
deed a fearful sight ; from the waist upwards a 
skinless mass ; the water they had thrown over 
it to extinguish the flames had brought off the 
skin ; it lay shivering in the father's arms, 
wrapped up in cloths wet with buttermilk ; the 
house was full of neighbours, and before I 
could do much the mother came in. Her 
screams were fearful, so both for her own sake 
and the child's, I persuaded her to leave the 
house. With flour and cotton I dressed the 
wounds, merely putting flour on the face, and 
left it, feeling almost hopeless. I was little in- 
clined for our day's excursion, but our friends 

6o FAHAN. 

were waiting and we started. On my return 
I asked eagerly, and was told the doctor had 
seen it at two o'clock, and said it could not 

^' It died at eight that night. I went up 
next morning as I had promised, I dreaded the 
going, but found the neighbours gathered in 
and I in a crowd when I would have given 
worlds to be alone, yet I was glad I had gone. 
I was asked to read, and did so. I scarcely 
know who were there, for I could not see well, 
but they seemed to be mostly men, and some to 
whom I have not spoken before. I tried to say 
none were tco young to die, and to speak of 
the only preparation, and so bring the question 
home to each : am I ready? As I left I longed 
so for quiet that I was almost sorry to meet 
dear Mr. A., who had returned late the evening 
before. After a short talk we parted, I to see 
M. A. R. and G. G., both very ill ; on my way 
home I met Mr. A. again, and he asked me 
to go with him to Mrs. B., to v/hom he was 
to administer the communion. I felt this was 
just the soothing my worn, distracted mind 


needed, but I did not forcsee all the comfort 
that blessed communion was to bring. I thank 
God for it." 

*' October 2yth, 1858. — I have a friend less in 
the world to-night, one more in heaven. Dear 
old Mrs. R. has gone home ; a remembrancer, 
perhaps of poor unworthy me before the throne. 
The walls of heaven are ringing with her ' new 
born melody,' and in my ears come the echo of 
her words to me, * I have been at school and 
hearing all my life, but till you came, I knew 
nothing of these things but that God was 
above me. You will get a blessing for what 
you have done for me.'' Ten days ago she 
said, ' I am going home ; if I don't see you 
again, God bless you and yours. I can't 
say all I feel, but God knows I love you.' 
How good and kind God is to give me this 
encouragement ! but to Him alone be the glory 
and praise." 

*^ October zgth. — Mr. — died this morning ; he 
was happy, very happy all through his illness, 
and now as he lies a corpse, the blessed spirit 
fled, it has seemed to me as if God has been 

62 FAHAN. 

very near Fahan lately ; within these few 
weeks, the gates of heaven have unfolded to 
receive three new bright spirits to swell the 
anthem there, the glory — glory — glory. And 
I ; how have I longed to go home too ! how 
long this life seems ! Mine is a very happy life 
here, but for sin and all my shortcomings 
which weigh at times upon me, when I cannot 
cast the burden on my Jesus. It seems so 
selfish to mourn those who have gone home ; 
how could we and our love supply half the joy 
they now have ! " 

** April 24th. — This evening I was very 
weary; the great joy of getting my darling 
mother and sister back after their fortnight's 
absence ; the delight of again listening to their 
voices made me, I fear, ready for an excuse to 
stay at home, but the thought of the poor, of 
Mrs. B., who would be expecting me, over- 
came the desire, and I went. By the way I 
thought Mr. A.'s Easter word of comfort on 
Mark xvi. 3, might refresh her; I felt its force 
doubly as I recalled it in order to tell its pre- 
cious message to weak believers : and then 

FAHAN. 63 

the joy of her tear-choked words, ^ you have 
brought me the message I needed to-night.' I 
might sit at her feet, sweet Christian, and 
learn of her, and yet God sent me to cheer 
her by repeating His servant's words. * Truly 
out of the mouth of babes doth He perfect 
praise.' " 

** i^th. — I felt much the soothing influence of 
the scenery to-day : the bank of wild roses on 
the sand hills above the strand; the sunset 
seen from Buncrana ; then the full moon, in all 
its grandeur, sailing over the sky and then dis- 
appearing behind a heavy cloud, silvering its 
outline; all these, one after the other, came 
with a force that seemed to speak peace. It is 
your heavenly Father that gives you this enjoy- 
ment. I did bless him for my creation and for 
that of this lovely earth." 

^^ 28th, — A Sunday at home, doing nothing, 
but, I trust, learning much. I had overtaxed 
tny voice, cold settled in it, and for some days 
it has been inaudible. It seems as if by taking 
it away for a time my God were going, as it 
were, to take my education into His own hands; 

64 FAHAN. 

it may be to force that preparation of the heart, 
that learning of Him and from Him which 
came before Isaiah's lips were touched with 
the live coal and he was sent forth to teach 
others. God grant that I may learn His lessons. 
And though it will come home sometimes that 
it is a severe trial that I cannot n?ake my poor 
hear me, yet that very feeling shows how much 
I need the lesson, thinking, as it were, that I 
cannot be done without. Lord, if it be Thy 
will to take away my voice for long, draw me 
nearer to Thyself and teach me to know Thee 
more, to sit at Jesus' feet and learn His word." 
God's word was indeed the rule of her life 
and her daily study. She truly hungered for 
the bread of life, and fed day by day on the 
written word. With her it was no mere read- 
ing of a few chapters but searching the Scrip- 
tures, comparing passage with passage, and 
storing her heart and memory with the truths 
she thus learned. I think it was in November, 
1856, that my aunt Esther gave her a treasury 
Bible as her birthday gift. She thus notices it 
in her journal : — 

FAHAN. 65 


This morning came aunt E.'s birthda} gift, 
-^a treasury Bible ; a new talent given to me ; 
Lord give me grace to use it aright. And do 
bless the kind and loving giver, and enable me 
more and more to show my love to her." 

She afterwards wrote to a friend : — '^ Aunt E. 
has always loved me very much, but she never 
did anything for me half so valuable as when 
she gave me that Bible." 

A few passages from her journal about this 
time may show how she meditated on God's 
word, and drew from its sacred pages the 
strength and comfort for her daily walk : — 

*^ May 12th. — For some time I have been 
cheered by the words, ' The hand of the Lord 
is upon all them for good that fear Him.' On 
them, leading them to seek Him ; on them, 
when they have found Him, for good ; making 
all things, every little incident, every text they 
read, every good thing they hear, every thought 
He suggests, teach them some lesson, lead them 
some step onward. Yes, His hand is in all 
things on His people for good, 

*'The following verse seems to me a motto 


60 FAHAN. 

with which I should strive to sanctify every 
thought and feehng: — 'I will go in the strength 
of the Lord, I will make mention of Thy 
righteousness even of Thine only/ Psalm Ixxi. 
i6, in connection with our Lord's own declara- 
tion, * Without me, ye can do nothing.' In 
every effort for the glory of God and good of 
men, these texts must be acted out in the 
length and breadth of their spirit. May I re- 
member also to give none occasion to the enemy 
to blaspheme. 

^'Another wonderful text so expresses the 

love and condescension of God in employing us 
sinful creatures as His agents in doing good to 
the souls of our fellow-men : — ' But as we were 
allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, 
even so we speak not as pleasing men, but 
God who trieth the hearts.' i Thess. ii. 4. 
His goodness is expressed in the 'allowed;' 
our responsibility in the * put in trust.' Our 
solemn obligation is to remember Whose ser- 
vants we are; we cannot serve two masters, 
therefore, we must not seek to please men, but 
God. This must be our aim, and angels have 

?AHAN. 67 

none higher, to please God. How forcibly 
came home the Saviour's words, ^ Without Me, 
ye can do nothing,' for the God whom we are 
to please trieth the hearts. Sinners in thought, 
word, and deed, how can we of ourselves please 
the heart-searching God ? but we can appear 
in the robe purchased for us and freely offered 
to us, and our works may in Jesus be not only 
acceptable but pleasing to God. But for 
this, how close we must keep to Jesus, cling to 
him ! nothing less will do ; only in Him can 
we appear before God, only by His help can we 
please God." 

'^Nov. 1st. — 'I am come that ye might have 
life^ and that ye might have it more abundantly.' 
Truly the Christian must not stand still ; the 
Saviour came not only to save, not only that 
we might have some life, a dim spark, a 
mere existence, but that we might have it 
more abundantly; might grow in grace, in 
knowledge, in holiness, in beauty, in useful- 


Nov. ^rd. — I have for some nights gone to 
bed thinking over that sweet text (oh, that I 

F 2 


could enter into its depths !) : — Jeremiah xxix. 
II, * I know the thoughts that I think towards 
you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not 
of evil, to give you an expected end.' ' God so 
loved the world that He sent His Son to die for 
us.' God pleads and entreats with us to come 
to Him ; He bares His heart to us that we may 
see the love laid up there for each and all, * I 
know the thoughts that I think towards you.» 
You, every one of you, whosoever will appro- 
priate to himself these words : * I, the Lord, 
who search the heart ; I, who am not a man to 
lie, but the Lord Jehovah, I say to you, poor, 
sinful, wretched, lost sinner though you be, I 
know the thoughts that I think towards you,' 
and what are those thoughts ? are they con- 
suming, destroying thoughts ? He who cannot 
look at sin might well say, * I will destroy them 
in a moment ; I will not spare — .' But no, 
the thunders of Sinai would but harden the 
heart ; the tones are of the still small voice ; 
they declare God's thoughts to be of peace and 
not of evil. 
'* Another text I have been thinking much of 

FAHAN. 69 

is, Psalm xxxiii. 18, 19, especially, * To keep 
them alive in famine.' When panting after the 
living waters of salvation, and the fountain 
seems closed to the longing soul, when Christ 
is not to be found, because as yet not rightly 
sought ; oh, how cheering to think that He yet 
waits to be gracious, and that meanwhile he 
will keep the soul alive in the famine, till He 
Himself speaks, ' Take, eat : this is my body 
which is given for you, even you !'** 

*'Nov, 2yd, — Read Matthew i. to-day ; the 
two names here given to Christ should teach 
us much, — Jesus — Saviour. If in temporal 
danger, what more cheering sound than the 
news of an approaching deliverer, able and 
willing to save; so, to sin-bound and con- 
demned sinners, what sound more sweet than 
that name which tells of safety, if we only feel 
our need and seek it ? Then the meaning here 
given, 'Jesus, for He shall save His people 
from their sins.' Not only from the punish- 
ment but from the thing itself; from the power 
and dominion as well as the condemnation of 
sin. Take it in its close home-sense, He shall 

70 FAHAN. 

save me. Each may take the name of Jesus as 
a personal promise of salvation, as the pledge 
and seal to each. His name is Jesus, for He 
shall save me, and as sure as this is His name, 
will He give salvation to all who seek it through 
Him and Him alone. Then, His other name, 

* Emmanuel, God with us,' tells of Jesus being 
a man as well as God, — our fellow, fellow-man, 
fellow-sufferer, one of fellow-feeling. He can 
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, 
for ' He has felt the same ' temptation ; He was 

* tempted of Satan.' The feeling of being sepa- 
rated from God, ^ My God ! my God ! why hast 
Thou forsaken me V The separation caused 
by sin He tasted for us, that He might feel for 
us, though Himself without sin ; — poverty, de- 
sertion of friends, sorrow, suffering, hunger, 
thirst, the heart-desolation among those who 
cannot sympathize. He felt all that He might 
feel for us. He is God, but God with us in 
nearness, love, and sympathy.'' 

'^ Jtme 28th, 1857. — I had a delightful morn- 
ing before going to church, studying Ezekiel 
xlvii., to which dear M. N. called my attention 

FAHAN. 71 

yesterday. I find my treasury Bible of great 
use ; not only as a help to explain Scripture by 
Scripture, but also as an opener up of many 
parts of which I might perhaps otherwise never 
think ; and oh, how every text shows more and 
more what a mine the Bible is ; how inex- 
haustible and how precious ! 

" The waters in verse i are types of the living 
waters so freely promised, and of which all are 
invited to take. Margaret spoke of the men- 
tion of the altar here as sending us to the cross 
of Christ as their source, — the purifying water 
and the cleansing blood ; but what delighted 
me most were the references on the comparative 
depths of the water, ' The waters were to the 
ankles,'— the first outpouring of the Spirit. Luke 
xxiv. 49 ; Acts ii. 4, 33 ; x. 45, 46 ; xi. 16, 18. 

" ' Then the waters were to the knees and 
loins,' — the gradual spread of the Qospel and 
its being offered to the Gentiles. Acts xiii. 42- 
48 ; Romans xv. 16 ; Col. i. 27. 

'^ Then ' waters to swim in ;* the looking for- 
ward to that glorious time when ^ the know- 
ledge of the Lord shall cover the earth.' 


Isaiah xi. 9 ; Daniel ii. 34, 35 ; Habakkuk ii. 14 ; 
Matt. xiii. 31, 32 ; Rev. vii. 9 ; xi. 15 ; xxi. 2-4. 

^^ Then the reference to the question, verse 6, 
*Hast thou seen this?' is to Matt. xiii. 51, 
where Jesus asks, ^ Have ye understood all 
these things ?' showing that it is He alone 
who can open them to our spiritual understand- 
ings. In verse 8, where the waters issue in 
all directions, the references show so beauti- 
fully the Lord's promises of provision for His 
people's every need. The promises : Isaiah 
XXXV. 1-7 ; xli. 17-19; xliii. 20; xliv. 3-5 ; xlix. 
9 ; Jeremiah xxxi. 9. 

^'^ Wherever the waters come, they shall 
bring healing : wherever the Gospel is preached 
among the heathens many shall be saved." 
Isaiah xi. 6-9; Malachi i. 11 ; Matthew viii. 11. 

^* Verse 9 teaches the universality of the offer 
of salvation. John iii. 16 ; xi. 26. ^ Every- 
thing shall live,' — the type of Jesus the life is 
shown in the life-giving properties of the 
waters. John v. 25 ; vi. 63 ; xi. 25 ; xiv. 6, 19 ; 
Romans viii. 2 ; i Cor. xv. 22 ; Eph. ii. 1-5. 
* The great multitude of fish ' denotes the mul- 

FAHAN. 73 

titudes from every land and age which shall be 
saved. Isaiah xlix. 12; Ix. 3; Zech. ii. 11; 
viii. 21, 22. * For they shall be healed,' — the 
Lord is Himself the healer. Exodus xv. 26/' 

^^ August is/.— What should I be without my 
Bible ? It is, indeed, a rich mine of treasure, 
and I think I am learning more to dig into it. 
Job xxxviii. 26, 27, may indeed come home to 
me ; the tender herb is the seed sown, but not 
yet showing itself, so that we doubt its life ; 
yet one of the designs of the thick cloud is to 
cause it to spring forth. Luke viii. 15. Then 
Job xxxvii. 12, 13, we see the cloud comes to 
accomplish the Lord's ends ; these are three : 
— For correction ; for his land, or for mercy. 

'* For correction : * He may send trouble, as 
to David His servant, to reveal to him his sin 
as against God.* Psalm li. 

" For his land : to give to those who are 
His the assurance that they belong to Him. 

" For mercy : to turn our thoughts more and 
more to Him ; to awaken those who sleep the 
sleep of death.** 

*^ August i^th, — I was much struck to-day by 

74 FAHAN. 

Job xxviii. 25, ' He weigheth the waters by 
measure/ contrasted with John iii. 34, ^ He 
giveth not His spirit by measure.' He weighs 
the trial and affliction He sends, lest one drop 
too much should fall to His people's lot, but 
for the good gifts of his Son and Spirit there 
is no limit. ^ Open thy mouth wide and I will 
fill it.' It is a word of reproach against His 
people that they limited Him. They took not 
somewhat of Him, — took no heed to the pro- 
mise, ' Ask and ye shall have.' " 

We might fill volumes with passages such 
as these, showing how she thought over the 
verses she read, and tried to draw teaching 
from all ; but I must pass on to speak of what 
can be learned only incidentally from her jour- 
nal ; the quiet beauty of her home life. Visi- 
tors in the house saw the simple unaffected 
girl, so quiet and unpretending, though ever 
ladylike and cheerful, and knew nothing of 
the deep inner life which was the motive power 
of her consistent walk. But they could not fail 
to see that while her days were spent among 
the poor, no home duty was ever neglected, 

FAHAN. 75 

and her mother's slightest wish would at all 
times make her give up her own plans. Long 
before the party assembled in the breakfast- 
room, Agnes m.ight be seen returning from the 
garden laden with flowers, which she delighted 
to arrange in the sitting-rooms with a skill and 
taste quite peculiar to herself. If the servants 
happened not to be sufficiently skilful to un- 
dertake all that was required, she would spend 
hours in the kitchen preparing confectionery, 
etc., and vv'hen my mother came down in the 
morning to give orders, she frequently found 
that Agnes had been busily engaged from five 
o'clock, and that all was prepared. In all the 
arrangements of the farm and garden she took 
the greatest interest, and was ever ready to 
do anything to help my mother, and save her 
from anxiety and fatigue. On first coming to 
Fahan, I find from her journals, it had been 
sometimes a great trial to her to give up her 
visiting of the poor when guests at home re- 
quired her attention, and she even questioned 
with herself how far it w^as right to yield the 
point, but it was not long before her peculiarly 

76 FAHAN. 

just and calm judging mind had divscerned 
where the line was to be drawn; and it was 
often a marvel to those who knew where her 
heart lay, to see with what sweet cheerfulness 
she would devote herself to the amusement of 
the friends and relatives who visited us during 
the summer months. A year and a half after 
my mother and she returned to Fahan House, 
I had been left a widow, and once more joined 
the home circle. Those only who knew the 
deep tenderness of dear Agnes's character, and 
the intense love she ever bore me, could guess 
at the affectionate sympathy with which she 
watched over me at that time, and how with 
gentle persuasion she drew me on to join her 
in walks and visits to the poor: the desire 
to give me an interest again in life, making 
her forget her timidity, and admit me even to 
her Bible readings in the cottages, where I 
learned many a lesson from her simple prac- 
tical teaching. Of her it might indeed be said, 
whatever her hand found to do, she did it with 
her might ; she saw what many, alas, of the 
good and useful people of the present day fail 

FAHAN. 77 

to see, that God may be obeyed and glorified 
as truly in the small details of domestic life, 
if done unto Him, as in the greater missionary 
work abroad. 

The following letters have been sent to me 
by the Lady Secretary of the Young Women's 
Christian Association, and seem to have been 
written between 1856 and i860 : — 

"Fahan, Londondet^ry. 

"My dear Miss S. — Though I cannot yet 
call myself a member of the Young Women's 
Association, you will, I am sure, excuse a 
stranger's addressing you in the familiar style. 

** When Miss Williams first proposed my 
joining the Association, I felt most strongly 
what Miss H, speaks of in her letter, — a 
shrinking from making public my feeble ef- 
forts, and a fear lest the love or desire of the 
praise of man should in any degree take the 
place of the only true motive. I was glad to 
receive the packet of letters you so kindly sent 
me, hoping to learn much from them, yet de- 
termined not to become a member on the con- 
dition of a quarterly letter. As I read on, how« 

78 FAHAN. 

ever, I felt that I must join such a blessed 
Association ; that I must write to commend 
myself and the work given me to do, to the 
united prayers of the Christian band. How 
the consciousness of prayer being offered up 
for us, nerves us to struggle on in our Saviour's 
strength, through difficulty and discourage- 
ment ! I myself am a very young woman, 
and, as such may claim to be remembered in 
your prayers. I can look back and bless God 
that I was once a member of Miss W.'s Sun- 
day-school class ; now, though myself a teacher, 
I would gladly resume my position as scholar. 
Enough of myself, and now for my work. Its 
sphere is a small country parish, whose de- 
voted minister allows me free access to the 

*' In June last I returned to this my former 
home after some years' absence. The girl, 
grown into a woman, was cordially received for 
her parents' sakes. It was indeed no light bless- 
ing to feel myself from the first received as a 
well-wisher. Those whom I remembered a 
little, were first visited, the homes of the 

FAHAN. 7^ 

school-children next, the old, crippled, infirm, 
and sick, as the case of each in turn became 
known, till now my visiting-book contains the 
names of sixty families, more or les^ regularly 
visited, according to circumstances, — twice a 
week, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. I never 
willingly exceed the last term. 

'' I desire to be regarded by all as a Scrip- 
ture-reader ; everything else, I try to make sub- 
servient to this great end. The system of lend- 
ing tracts I have adopted, not only for their 
own sake, but also that their regular exchange 
may serve for an excuse, as it were, to enter 
the house Bible in hand. I find my way thus 
made easier among the thirty families where 
this system is carried out ; but for this, I 
should often find an excuse, as I do sometimes 
among the others, to allow my call to merge 
into a mere visit. The sooner I begin, the 
more readily is it understood. If I cannot stay 
long, they feel that the ' one thing needful ' is 
to be the first object, though, in this case, I 
try to return soon again, and spend a time in 
listening to their tales of sorrow and difficulty, 

8o FAHAN. 

longing to be regarded as a friend, and trust- 
ing that as such my message may come home 
to their hearts through the Spirit's blessing 
on my instrumentality. 

" I have dwelt thus at length on my system, 
hoping for advice on the subject, and also for 
some hints as to the best means of gaining 
access to the hearts of the people. Few, I 
suppose, have their time so fully at their own 
disposal as I have. When I read letters 
from many more fitted for the work, laid aside 
from active employment, and contrasted my 
own unvaried health and strength, and yet 
inward weakness and frailty, I thought who 
made me to differ. Even in my work I gain 
fresh vigour. I have long walks to take daily 
to the various cottages, but the way lies 
through beautiful scenery, in sea and mountain 
air, and my practice of disregarding weather, 
has, with God's blessing, kept me from a single 
cold this winter. Then God's Word often 
comes home more strongly to my own heart 
as I read to the poor, and try to make a few 
simple remarks. As to capacity, were it not 

FAHAN. 8l 

for Jeremiah i. 6-9, 17, 19, and the promise 
Proverbs xxii. 21, — were it not that I go armed 
with the sword of the Spirit, I should indeed 
fear to go forward. But in our weakness, the 
promise is but the surer, * I am with thee,* if 
only we be really in God's way. My Sunday 
and day-school classes will not come under the 
title of * young women,' neither do the cases 
of all I visit, but several such there are, and 
some I would especially desire to be remem- 
bered at the Throne of Grace. ' 
**.... is one who causes me much anxiety. 
For months she resisted my invitations to the 
Sunday-school. At the close of the year I 
thought of a plea, ' Suppose you begin the 
year well by coming.' To my delight, its first 
Sunday saw her in our clergyman^s class. I 
watched for her each week; again she was 
absent on a slight excuse, now has returned- 
May the instruction be blessed to her ! She 
is in a trying position at home, and this is the 
only way of reaching her at present. Another, 
for whom I ask your interest, is of a different 
spirit. What that spirit is, her remark op 


8? FAHAN, 

John XX. 22, will clearly show, /He breathed 
on them.' ^ What strong words ; how near 
they seem to bring Jesus to us ; how they 
come home V She has long been ill ; every 
effort to come to church is followed by a re- 
lapse, but she longs after God's house. She 
is always so happy when strong enough to 
kneel in prayer. To her I go not as a teacher, 
but as a learner, and what a refreshment it 
is ! Another poor girl has been led far astray. 
I am always at a loss how to deal with . . . ., 
not to destroy her sense of shame or let her 
motherless sisters think lightly of her fall, 
and yet not to break the bruised reed. I 
should much like advice on this subject from 
those more experienced. Though, as a general 
rule, I am not an advocate of Sunday visiting 
of the poor, when time can be found during 
the week, I think it is well to give something 
to mark the day to those who can never at- 
tend public worship ; therefore between services 
I visit two poor cripples, to read to and in- 
struct them; an hour every Wednesday is, 
likewise devoted to these; ttdr only point in 

FAHAN. 83 

common is their infirmity. The young woman 
cannot read, but she is anxious to learn. I 
try to store her mind with hymns and texts 
to think over in my absence ; these she takes 
pleasure in remembering for my sake, but she 
is yet, I fear, unenlightened with regard to 
the soul's only Light. I do not like to weary 
you by multiplying cases, but select those in 
which I am myself most interested. On a 
mountain slope there lives a family, formerly 
without any religion. One of our summer 
showers suddenly swelled the mountain 
streamlet into a torrent, by vv^hich a child was 
carried off. All night the parents searched 
in vain, till the morning light revealed the 
sad tale. I had never seen the family before 
this time, but was then asked to visit them. 
I cannot read their hearts, but I do know 
that both parents listen attentively to God's 
Word, and I receive many thanks for my 
visits and am entreated soon to return. The 
father, a shoe-maker, lays aside his work and 
does not resume it until the last word is said. 
The mother is a very young Vvoman, but 

G 7. 

84 FAHAN. 

both her own and her husband's former family 
will, I trust, have cause to bless God for this 
accident. My letter has insensibly lengthened. 
I know not whether it be necessary to enter 
so fully into detail, but I have thus mentioned 
some of my anxieties and blessings, that you 
may more fully be able to realize a stranger's 
position and give the advice and help I need. 
I must apologize for troubling you with so 
long an epistle, and request that if it be neces- 
sary to send this my first letter with the others, 
you will considerably abridge it. 
** I remain yours truly, 

*' In a common Saviour's service, 
'' Agnes E. Jones." 

*' Fa'han, November, 1857. 

*' My dear Miss S. — This letter will pro- 
bably be late for this quarter; indeed, I had 
not thought of writing, but for a circumstance 
which occurred to-day. For the last month 
my thoughts have been painfully occupied, and 
I have been away from home and my poor; 

FAHAN. 85 

now I have returned again among them, 
though home ties will occupy me more now 
than before. . . . My last visit before leaving 
home was at the house where I called to- 
day. About a year ago, a young woman — a 
Presbyterian — ran off with a Roman Catholic. 
Her parents were very angry, and till her 
baby was born, when the mother went to her, 
she never saw them. Whether she ever went 
to chapel I do not know ; her child was of 
course taken there to be baptized. Within 
the last two months they have come to live 
in my visiting district, and, when at the house 
where she lodged, I saw her two or three 
times. The husband, however, was always 
present, and as I had not known her family 
until after she had left it, I felt I must not 
appear too much interested in her at first. 
Last week I paid her a visit in her own house, 
having received a message that she would like 
to see me. The husband was out, but a 
stranger was there, before whom I felt I must 
be cautious. The poor girPs eyes filled with 
tears when I went in, and she looked so glad 


to see me. I spoke of her parents, and sa\^ 
how her mother's rare visits were prized and 
her father's continued estrangement mourned 
over. I told her that I saw them sometimes, 
and lent tracts to her brother, who liked them 
much. I watched the effect of this, for I was 
doubtful what to do. I longed to take ad- 
vantage of her husband's absence to speak 
to her, and, a tailor being generally at home, 
I feared to lose the opportunity, and yet 
dreaded to get the poor thing into trouble, 
were the woman who was present a Roman 
Catholic. I prayed for direction, and finally 
offered to lend her tracts and to read a chapter 
to her. When I was leaving, she thanked me 
with tears and begged me to repeat my visit. 
Yesterday, among other places, I went to her 
mother's house, determined to urge her family 
to visit her and be kind to her, fearing much 
the effects of her being left entirely to her 
husband's family. I therefore spoke of my visit 
io her and of her contrition for the step, she 
had tak^i, dwelling on the steadiness with 
which she has of late withstood all efforts to 

FAHAN. 87 

bring her to the chapel ; for a time none of 
them spoke ; then the mother said, ' I would 
not be able to explain the contentment it was 
to her to see you coming to visit her.' She 
then told me that the poor girl had said so 
much about my visit, and that she was thank- 
ful I had lent her the tracts before her sister- 
in-law, though she had ^ scowled on her ' when 
she saw it. She was anxious, too, for a Bible 
our clergyman promised her. All this I men- 
tion as showing the poor girl's state of mind ; 
her great distiess is, lest the baby should grow 
up to return on her her conduct to her parents. 
Poor thing ! I believe she is truly penitent, 
but in a most difficult position. I v/ant you 
to pray for her and for me, that I may have 
wisdom given me in dealing with her. 

" I want more zeal and earnestness in my 
work, to speak more to the people of the dear 
Saviour I have found. I am naturally very 
reserved, but I find to get influence over the 
poor, the more openly one speaks the better. 
I may not have much longer to go among 
them. My voice is each day more easily tired, 


and sometimes after reading in three or four 
houses, I have to return home, unable to exert 
it again that day. At home, when trying to 
read aloud in the evening, my voice fails me in 
about ten minutes. This makes me long the 
more to work while I have time. I have done 
little good with that voice, but to be able to 
continue reading God's Word to the people, 
as I have tried to read it for the last year 
and a half in this place, is my desire ; if He 
has need of it. He will give strength. One 
learns by going among so many different cha- 
racters, the depths in God's Word, — its ap- 
plicability to every circumstance ; its strength 
and power is so felt in contrast to one's own 
weakness and ignorance. I am sure the more 
We know for ourselves the certainty of the 
words of truth, the more we shall be able to 
answer those who send to us. That promise is 
^uch a sweet one to take and plead at every 
cottage-door, — the promise of the Spirit to 
teach all things and bring Christ's words to 
our remembrance. 

" I have written at too great length, but 

FAHAN. 89 

many interruptions have caused me to be less 
concise than I ought to have been. Poor young 
Mrs. M. needs your prayers, as does also your 

" In Christian love, 

''Agnes E. Jones." 

" December 31, 1859. 

''Dear Friend, — In this day of blessed 
revival work and in the near neighbourhood 
of its visitation, we have yet, alas ! to say, 

* The dew falls thick on all around, 
But our poor fleece is dr)',* 

And yet I cannot but feel as if the word to us 
were, ' Though it tarry, wait for it ;' for more 
than two or three among us have agreed to 
pray to and for the Holy Spirit, and is not the 
word sure, 'Seek and ye shall find'? It is a 
trial of faith to witness, as on a late visit 
to a previously known locality, the blessed 
change there, and then to return and see 
only more vividly than before the deadness 
among our own loved people, but it is a 

90 FAHAN. 

time of great searching of heart. ^ Where- 
in have I come short ?' personally, indivi- 
dually, and in relation to those among whom 
my lot is cast. It sends one more to one's 
Bible to seek the promises, to one's knees 
to put the Lord in remembrance. Some 
among our little band of sisters may have 
witnessed, as all have heard of the blessed 
revival ; several of its scenes I have visited, 
one especially, with which, being my uncle's 
parish, I had been previously acquainted. I 
saw it there when the work was in its infancy, 
again this month, and can testify to the trem- 
bling, tearful fear of many, lest their love should 
wax cold. The Bible is to them, indeed, the 
Book, — their daily food, as prayer seems their 
life ; companions in folly are now watching 
each other as a mother would her infant, lest 
they should stumble. One must see to under- 
stand how every opportunity of instruction is 
prized, no weather keeping from the Bible- 
class or prayer meeting. Crowded places of 
worship and earnest devout worshippers show 
how every means of grace is valued. In the 

FAHAN. 9t 

remote mountain parish of which I speak, 
there has scarcely been a blemish to mar the 
beauteous whole ; in towns the trials and temp- 
tations to imposture are greater, yet, even in 
such places, detractors from the movement 
admit a great residue of good, but in G. none 
have gone back of those in whom a vital 
change appeared, though some who seemed 
awed at first have not continued under the 
good influence ; again, with respect to the cases 
of insanity attributed to the movement, all 
have, I believe, been satisfactorily proved to 
be such as any excitement would have caused. 
The only such case I saw, v>^as that of one 
who, being subject to fits of depression, made 
her being ' struck ' a cause for deep anxiety. 
* That's not for me !' was her despairing cry 
in answer to every quoted promise or invita- 
tion. I left her thus. Four months after I 
found her bright and happy, * I have never 
been low since ; God opened my eyes that 
night to see the way, and He has never shut 
them since !' such was her testimony. 

** None who have heard the cry of the 

92 FAIIA.N. 

'stricken * could ever forget it,— their state gave 
a new aspect to the reality of sin as seen in the 
light of God ; the prayers of such seemed to 
picture Jacob's wrestling, and after awhile, ' I 
know that Thou wilt save me,' was uttered in 
tones that seemed indeed the full assurance of 
faith. And the happy beaming look, at once 
makes you single out the ' awakened ' among 
all others. One such case only have we had 
here, — a young woman, on her return from 
hearing Mr. Guinness preach in Derry, felt she 
must stop by the roadside and pray ; she would 
wait until at home, was her next thought, but 
no, that could not be ; before friends and neigh- 
bours, she must stop and kneel down by the 
hedge. Now she seems a rejoicing Christian. 
The Bible and prayer are her life, as bringing 
her nearer to Him who is the Life. 

*' A change in the residence of one of my 
cripples left me a free hour on Sunday after- 
noon ; this I have now given to a woman's 
class, for those whom age or want of clothing 
prevent attending church. A mile of steep road 
does not signify to me with God-given health 

FAHAN. 93 

and strength, but it is an insuperable barrier to 
many. We meet in the cottage of a man who, 
as he humbly sits and listens, reminds me of 
him who was clothed and in his right mind 
after Jesus had cast out the evil spirit. On 
Christmas Day as I sat among the little group 
and told the glad news, ^ I bring you tidings of 
great joy, which shall be to all people,' and 
tried to bring home to each individually, * Unto 
you is born this day a Saviour,' I could not but 
feel what different sounds those walls had 
echoed on every previous Christmas Day, when 
the oaths of drunkards and gamblers had been 
heard there. It was a happy little meeting, 
and though the unsafe and slippery roads were 
yet more difficult to tread in the evening dusk, 
there was an inner feeling of joy vv^hich made 
that walk to church a happy one. * Oh, that 
in this coming year I may tell more of Jesus, 
and lead to Him, Who for us men and for our 
salvation came down from heaven. May we 
all seek individually to be daily renewed by the 
Holy Spirit, more and more to give our own 
selves to Gt)d, and so be used more as workers 


together with Him, till we reach the blessed 

* When no failing comes between 
The service that we render Him 
And the service that we mean.' 

May we all so meet in the strength of Him, 
who, when He promises the crown to those 
who overcome, adds in compassion to our weak- 
ness, ' As I also overcame ;' so lovingly remind- 
ing us, how He is ^ touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities.' 

** Yours in Him, 

'' Agnes E. Jones.'* 

"Fahan, i860. 

*' My dear Miss S., — The first of the month 
is perhaps too long past to allow of a letter this 
quarter ; and yet though unable to write in 
time, I feel our parish now so specially needs 
that prayer should be offered on its behalf, and 
I myself so love the link which binds to so 
many dear sisters in Christ, that I must send a 
few lines. 

** To those who have not experienced it, the 

FAHAN. 95 

severing of the tie between pastor and people 
may seem a light trial, and, when death is not 
the cause, it seems selfish to mourn ; but when 
the ^ teaching priest ' is the loved guide and 
friend of young and old, rich and poor ; when 
on the weekday one feels sure of sympathy and 
advice in every case of difficulty one brings 
before him ; when day by day, in their homes, 
and frequently by night in the class or cottage 
lecture, in the Thursday evening service, and 
Friday half-hour prayer meeting, the people 
meet their pastor, whose loving, gentle look 
and manner, as well as words, endear him to 
all ; then, indeed, do his words on Sunday — the 
telling of Jesus in words and tones which echo 
in their hearts through the week — find a way 
which no stranger could conceive. 

*^And now the news comes, soon another 
shall be your pastor, and the whole parish rings 
with lamentations. The male and female week- 
day, the young men's Sunday-school classes 
now at an end. The old bedridden woman 
cries, ' He i^as like a lady coming in to see me ; 
he was so loving when he told me so plain oi 

96 FAHAN. 

Jesus ;' others say, ' He carried the mug of jam, 
the meat or the old linen when my child was ill/ 
or * He dropt tears with me when my wife died ; 
how can I but love to hear him ?' Again, ^ He 
is just like one of ourselves coming in ; I can 
open my mind to him ; nobody is ever afraid 
to speak to him ;* and, better still, ^ I know by 
his teaching what Jesus means; I never read 
my Bible till he came ;' ' I never understood 
my Bible till he taught me how to read it.* 

^^The old man, who for thirty years had 
never darkened the church door, could not but 
go to hear ' the gentleman preach,* who, on the 
wildest night, came to the mountain cottage to 
hold his lecture, where none ^ might think 
shame to come even in rags,' and so it was with 
many who for months and years had no clothes 
for church. Among the young men, especially 
dear Mr. — *s influence was so blessed. Few 
would recognize in the simple Gospel-preacher, 
whose whole aim is to seek out * plain words * 
to set before an almost exclusively unlettered 
congregation, the lofty flights of fancy and 
depths of learning and research, which, alike in 


poetry and essays, again and again carried off 
every prize but a few years back, — all now laid 
at the foot of the cross, and every thought now 
being how best to lead his flock to green pas- 
tures ; such is he whom we are now to lose. 
And what shall I say of my own personal loss, 
— the pastor, friend, counsellor, guide ? his 
loved and loving wife, in whom I ever found a 
friend and sister, and those little children, who, 
in a retired country place, were all the variety 
I had or needed in the long winter months. 
Next month we shall lose all these sunbeams. 
One loves to lean on such props as these ; yet, 
perhaps, God is saying, ' Come up higher,' from 
the human to the Divine Teacher. 

^^ All is ordered, and so must be for the best, 
though it is hard to part. The woman for 
whom I asked your prayers, she whose child 
was burned to death, said to me one day, 
* Sometimes I wish so much you were coming 
in, and you don't come, and I feel as if I must 
go to ask you, and can't get time or have not 
clothes to go ; but I never have to look for 
Jesus and not find liim, I can always go to 


98 FAHAN. 

Him ; and though, I think, I can tell you every- 
thing, still I can tell Him more.* Truly her 
words taught me a lesson, needed the very next 
day, when I heard our dear pastor was to leave 
us. We pray for him who is to be * over us in 
the Lord,* as yet a stranger and unknown ; and 
oh, pray for us^ dear friends, that in this trial, 
the Lord may draw us nearer Himself. At this 
blessed Easter season may we each hear Jesus 
speaking to us individually, and may we as 
Mary answer, * Master.' May the showing of 
His pierced hands and side bring home to each 
His blessing. ' Peace be with you.' .... 
" Your young friend, 

" Agnes E. Jones." 



" Let others seek earth's honours : be it mine 
One law to cherish, and to teach one line, 
Straight on towards heaven to press with single bent, 
To know and love my God, and then to die content." 

^"T^HE time had now come when the happy 
-L country life was to be left for ever, and a 
wider sphere of usefulness entered ; and here 
I cannot forbear saying a word to those, who, 
mistaking their own inclinations for God's 
guiding, might think to find in Agnes an ex- 
ample of abandoning home duties for what 
they deem God's service ; young hearts, who, 
fired by the story of some such life as hers, 
fancy they could do the same, had they the 
opportunity; v/ho finding the yoke of obedi- 
ence galling, think they could rule others, not 
having heart for the small duties assigned 
them, cry out for greater ones; to such I would 

H a 


say, '* Rather learn from this life to wait God*s 
time ; if in your heart you find, as she did, a 
desire specially to devote yourself to His ser- 
vice, commit your way to Him, and He will 
give you the desire of your heart.'' 

In 1853 Agnes first saw Kaiserswerth, and 
longed for work there ; not until i860 was the 
wish granted. She waited God's time patiently 
and obediently, and when He saw fit. He made 
the way plain for her. How little we know 
what the apparently insignificant circumstances 
we seem to mould ourselves may bring forth to 
us. In September, i860, Agnes had, for some 
time, been looking pale and thin, yet we could 
not induce her to take rest, or in any way relax 
her exertions. An uncle, who had come to his 
home in Ireland foe a few weeks, was to rejoin 
his family in Germany, and one morning it 
was suggested at the breakfast-table, that this 
might be an opportunity for paying her long- 
talked-of visit to Kaiserswerth, availing herself 
of his escort for the journey. At first she 
seemed to think it impossible she could leave 
her sick and poor ; but in a day or two shQ 


Spoke of it again, and said she felt she might 
learn there much that would be useful in the 
parish ; so it was settled that she should go. 
There was little time for deliberation, for my 
uncle was to start in two days, and she left us for 
Dublin, saying she trusted a month, or at most 
six weeks, would see her again at home. My 
mother and I rejoiced at her being thus forced 
away from the long mountain walks which we 
felt were too much for her strength, and hoped 
the complete change of air and scene would 
restore her failing health. Little did we think 
she was never again to be with us except on 
passing visits. 

Her journals and letters supply the history 
of the next few months : — 

'* September i^th, i860. — Started this morning 
for Dublin, the beginning of my journey to 
Kaiserswerlh, of which journey I had not the 
least thought this day week, but when mamma 
proposed that I should take advantage of uncle 
M/s escort, this circumstance seemed to point 
the way to what I have desired for seven years. 
My ignorance about sickness and the care of 


those afflicted with it, makes me feel my need 
of some such training as a means of future use- 
fulness ; at the same time I feel very nervous 
about leaving mamma and J., and whethei I 
should forsake my poor now, is to me a ques- 
tion. Every leavetaking has been with a feel- 
ing of the separation being long, and yet I 
hope surely to return in a month. It was a 
sad parting from mother, and, but for very 
shame, I could then have heartily given up the 
going. I cannot see the pillar moving on, but 
trust God will be with me, and bless me, else 
all is dark indeed. The journey was a weary 
one, with a nervous headache, but it was 
cheering to meet a kind welcome from dearest 
Miss Mason. 

** September i6th. — Spent an anxious evening 
yesterday, so when I went to my room I asked 
of God some encouragement next morning, if it 
were His will I should go, and if it were only 
my weakness made me fear leaving mother and 
sister, my poor, and my country ; after this I 
had such a happy feeling of being able to leave 
all in His hands. I slept well and quietly, and 


though I looked for the answer in my letters^ 
did not feel my usual impatience about them ; 
there was nothing for or against the going in 
any way, and I felt as if I had expected too 
much ; but the loving mercy of God to my 
poor weak heart \vas greater as He is ever 
above what I ask or think. At ii we went to 
Mr. Hare's Monday prayer-meeting ; his prayer 
was chiefly that we might be kept from self- 
seeking, — that self which comes even into 
God's house, when we say, * I am of Paul,' etc., 
which comes with us when we think we are 
doing God's work, filling us perhaps with 
the thought, how we are thought of, etc. 
Afterwards I spoke to him, and, when Miss 
Mason told him of my plans, his blessing made 
me nearly cry with thankful joy, that God 
would now and ever guide and bless me and 
make me a blessing. Oh, how good God is 
through His servant to show me such sym- 
pathy ! it was the, Jesus, my Sa- 
viour, knew my need, and sent the supply." 

The arrival at Kaiserswerth is thus de- 
scribed : — 


*' After parting from uncle at Cologne at 7 
o'clock, I began to feel very nervous about my 
reception, but a strong word came to my weak- 
ness and helped me, 'Why art thou cast 
down ? oh my soul, hope thou in God.' An 
hour and a half at Diisseldorf before a train 
started which would stop at Calcum, was try- 
ing ; had I known the delay would be so long, 
I should have sat down to read or write, but I 
thought every moment my train would be up. 
At last we were off, and soon I was on the 
platform at Calcum ; some deaconesses were 
starting, but one remained, so I addressed her ; 
she could not tell, however, if I were expected. 
We put the luggage in the omnibus, but I was 
glad, after only two hours of sleep last night 
and three nights of very disturbed rest, to have 
fresh air and walking ; then my hobbling Ger- 
man began, and so we came to the door of the 
hospital. I was left in the hall till some one 
should find what was to be done with me; 
after a long wait a summons came to the 
pastor's house ; the mother came in and said 
I should live in the hospital, in the Sisters* 


part, and so brought me over and gave me in 
charge to Sister Sophia, the head of the hos- 
pital. She led me to a dear little room, the 
window opening on the garden, across which I 
see the orphan and the pastor's house. After 
a Httle, I was taken to Sister Reichardt's room, 
where I sat and talked till 12 o'clock dinner; 
then my luggage arrived. I unpacked and 
dressed and went with Sister Dorathea to the 
women's hospital ; Sister Carietten came to 
take me over part of the house, — the women 
and children's wards, work-rooms, kitchens, 
bakery, etc. Coffee at 2 in my room, and then 
with Sister D. to see the wounds dressed in 
the hospital. At 7 tea, returned to my room 
and at 9 to prayers." 

^^ Friday, — Breakfast was brought to me at 
6 o'clock ; afterwards I went to the women's 
hospital and spent the day there." 

''Saturday. — Prayers at 7, then to women's 
hospital ; dressed some wounds, etc. Sister 
Dorathea, of whom I am sure I should have 
grown very fond, went off to replace a Sister 
at Graefeld almshouse for sick and old. Sister 


Amelia takes her meals with me ; she is the 
cutter-out of dresses, etc. Sister Maria was 
with me one evening ; she was an orphan here; 
and became deaconess ; she has just returned 
from Dresden, and is so fond of this, she hoped 
to remain here, but heard to-day she is to go 
elsewhere. After dinner I paid Sister Sophia 
a visit in her room, and was told to be ready 
at 3, dressed in black for the funeral of Sister 
Joanna, who died on Wednesday, and for 
whom the bells have been rung daily from 12 
to I o'clock. Sister Maria came for me ; we 
found the deaconesses assembling in the yard, 
where was the coffin with six bright silvery- 
looking handles, and surrounded with a long 
wreath of cypress and white dahlias. After a 
little. Pastor Disselhof (Louisa Fliedner's hus- 
band) came and told the deaconesses, before 
leaving, what they were to sing. They sang 
four verses standing as they were ; then the 
town children walked on, the pastors, six men 
carrying the coffin, other men, and t!ie band ; 
then the deaconesses and others, three and 
three, and so on, singing and moving slowly 


we came to the ^* Gottes-acker ; " round the 
grave we stood, — the open grave with the 
coffin laid in it ; a hymn was given out and 
sung, and then Pastor Disselhof, as if blessing 
the grave with uplifted hands, repeated, ^ Oh 
death, where is thy sting ? ' He then read 
Luke vii. 11-16 and spoke first of the scenes 
of this week, — Monday and Tuesday such a 
joyful feast, the anniversary of the beginning 
of the Institution w^hen so many pastors, 
strangers, and every deaconess who can come, 
gather together, and have such rejoicing, now 
the last day of the week, Sister Joanna's 
funeral, reminding us that in the midst of life 
we are in death ; but this is also a joyful thing 
when we think of her now, and we may take 
the text for the day, ' Weep not,' as our con- 
solation. After giving the reasons vv^hy we 
need not weep, he told the story of her life, — 
her father's death, her work for her mother and 
young brother, her confirmation and taking 
God from that day as hers, — not a sudden 
change, but a growing change, as sure as 
the growth of a living tree ; then her school- 


change from that at Kaiserswerth for awhile, 
change again to Elburg ; but she ever said her 
heart was here. Her whole heart was in her 
work, — her day-school, her teaching of the 
people in after hours, her Sunday-school, num- 
bering one hundred at least ; her sorrow that 
she could give little at Christmas made her, 
though very shy, go every year from house to 
house begging and getting a great deal, enough 
to clothe her children. Her love for Kaisers- 
werth and wish to help in the work, made her 
get the children to work and send the produce 
here. Her home life and patience, waiting 
God's will, though longing for active service 
for Him, and then her joy at coming here at 
last and becoming a deaconess, — all this was 
told. She had come a sinner to the Saviour, 
and though timid and shy, overcame all for 
love to Him. It was as the Lord was going 
into Nain, ' pleasantness,' He met the corpse 
coming out, and as He found death then, so 
may he now in his pleasant place ; but He has 
conquered death, it has now no sting. At 7 
o'clock this evening the bells rang for half an 


hour, — joy bells for the morrow. In the men- 
tion of Sister Joanna, they always speak of her 
as the ' home-gone sister/ — tenser heimgegangene 

^^ Sunday, — The preparation for next Sunday's 
communion. Read at prayers at a quarter to 
seven, i Cor. xi. 13. Sister Carietten prayed 
that this Sunday might be a day of growth, — 
of being clothed anew in Christ's righteous- 
ness, — a day in which we might more entirely 
give ourselves to Jesus, and feel what a 
blessed thing it is to live for Him, to work for 
Him, to devote our strength to Him who first 
loved us and gave Himself for us. The prayers 
for the king are very beautiful^, for the queen 
and all in authority, the pastor and the mother. 
I helped to dress some of the wounds ; then 
church at a quarter before ten. They first 
sang, then read the same epistle and gospel 
as our own, then Proverbs vii., then a prayer; 
after which, those were desired to remain who 
wished to receive the communion next Sunday. 
A confession and absolution, and a kind of form 
of self-exarnination was read by Pastor Striker, 


whom I do not yet well understand ; at each 
part there was a pause : then, ask yourselves 
these questions, and let all who can join in 
answering yes. The Lord's Prayer and the 
beautiful Levitical blessing closed the service. 
Soon after, the sister came with an invitation 
from the pastor for me to dine with him, which 
I did at 12. He spoke little, for his cough 
is very severe ; first the text for the day was 
read, then the Psalm by his children, and 
dinner began, — soup, plates of gruel, which 
was sweet with raisins in it, then boiled meat, 
beans, and potatoes, afterwards fresh plums. 
After dinner the pastor gave one of his sons 
a poem to read aloud ; he read a few short 
missionary anecdotes, and we sang a hymn 
before grace was said. Then the sisters who 
are to go off to-morrow were told of their 
journey arrangements, and one, for the first 
time, heard she was to go. The pastor told 
me I might, after service at the village church, 
go out with the parish sister on her rounds. 
I did so, and came back at 3 to the ser- 
vice, which is, on this Sunday in the months 


more of a missionary meeting. At 5, went to 
the sick and spent a few minutes with Sister 
Reichardt before 7, then supper of rice and 
milk. From 8 to 9.30, I was at Sister Ca- 
rietten's teaching of the ^ Probe Schwestern ;' 
she certainly enters into the spirit of the 
* Haus Ordnung/ of which she read paragraph 
g, the family bond ; the deaconesses and no- 
vices owing obedience to those over them as 
children to parents, — the spirit of being ever 
ready to serve God in our fellows, remember- 
ing, ' Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the 
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 
Me.' All must be in the spirit of love, — not to 
gain love for ourselves, but to draw hearts to 
the Lajnb of God. To hold ourselves ever in 
readiness co serve Him, to think nothing too 
small, and so we shall be ready for greater 
works and further submission, if He see fit to 
call us to any great work." 

** Tuesday. — Breakfast and prayers, attending 
patients and sitting with them. Tried to ex- 
plain a little of Luke xv. to Louisa and the 
others before dinner ; afterwards went with sis* 


ters Emilie and Frederica to the churchyard ; 
saw the spot the pastor has chosen for him- 
self, and also the sisters' graves, a stone with 
name, age, date of death, and a text, headed 
by a dove flying among stars. At 2, the ' Lied 
Stunde,* which is Sister Carietten explaining 
the Scripture references to the hymns ; then 
Sister R.'s class on 2 Timothy iii. ; then I 
went back with her to her room for a talk, 
which I always much enjoy ; then to the sick, 
and helped in the dressings, etc., till after 6, 
when I went to visit Sister Sophie, who is 
very kind to me/' 

In a letter home of this same date she 
says, — 

^' I am as happy here as the day is long, 
and it does not seem half long enough, but 
with all my contentment, till your letter came 
yesterday there was something wanting, and 
now I am looking forward to more home news, 
so you will think me greedy. Except a little 
with Sister Lebussa — a countess who is nurs* 
ing-sister here, and who speaks English well — 
it is German all day, and I think I am im- 


proving. Every one is so busy here, one can't 

spend much time talking, but had you seen 
our lively walking party to-day, you would not 
have feared my being moped. You would be 
amused at the horror they have here of a most 
attractive English Protestant sister, who came, 
I fancy, from Windsor, but when they found 
out her views she was sent away. Their love 
for Miss Nightingale is so great ; she was only 
a few months here, but they so long to see her 
again. I was asking much about her ; such a 
loving and lovely womanly character hers must 
be, and so religious. Sister S. told me many 
of the sick remembered much of her teaching, 
and some died happily, blessing her for having 
led them to Jesus. I have not seen Louisa 
Fliedner yet, but have heard her husband preach 
twice so beautifully ; he speaks so clearly and 
slowly I understand him wonderfully well ; he 
is a tall remarkable-looking man, and with his 
old-fashioned preaching gown, especially when, 
as at the funeral the other day, he wore his 
cap, reminds me always of one of the old Re- 



; ** Journal, Wednesday. — Hospital : read to 
Louisa * Jesus nimmt die Sunder an/ and 
talked of it to her. Went to ask Sister Sophie 
to let me dress as a * Probe Schwester/ as I 
think then both sisters and sick will allow me 
to do more when my dress does not every mo- 
ment remind them that I am a stranger and a 
lady. After dinner I had a very nice walk with 
Sister Carietten, who is now, as I thought, in 
Hedwig's place. The two were dear friends ; 
Hedwig has now two children. Every Wed- 
nesday evening Pastor Disselhof has a Bible 
class for the sisters in the hall. Unfortunately, 
I was far off and could not hear well as he 
spoke low." 

^^ Thursday. — Morning, as usual, spent in the 
hospital; after dinner walked to the Schloss 
garden, near Calcum, with Sister Anna, who 
writes for the pastor; she was only made a 
deaconess at the last anniversary, and she is 
going home to-morrow for a week's visit to her 
parents, who so rejoice in her having become 
a sister that they wish to see her as such. 
When I came in, finding my dress would not 


•soon be ready, I thought it better to put on my 
cap, and so went to Sister Sophie's room. At 
3, to Sister Reichardt's Bible lesson in the sick- 
room ; then to her own room, where I sat with 
her till near 5 ; returned to the hospital till 
6.30. At 8, Pastor Strieker came into the hall 
to give the sisters a Bible lesson." 

'* Friday, — Prayers, Luke xv., and a beau- 
tiful prayer on the chapter. Then I, having 
made my bed and arranged my room before 
breakfast, went to the hospital, and am to-day 
happier than I have yet been, for I was al- 
lowed to do many little things for the patients, 
— make beds, dress wounds, hear a child her 
lessons, and help a blind one in her prepara- 
tion for the pastor's evening class. A little 
after 10, Sister Sophie came to tell me the 
pastor was waiting in her room to see me. I 
went to him, and after giving me a book on 
parish work, he asked me to walk a little in 
the garden with him. He is most anxious I 
should spend the whole winter here. Lord 
guide and direct me, teach me what I should' 
do ; it I am to stay here^ show me Thy will ; 

I 2 


if it SO please Thee by putting it into the 
hearts of others to give me work, by enabHng 
me to do anything that comes in my way, with 
a single eye to Thy glory, and by helping me 
to get on with German. Lord, let me learn 
what Thou seest best to prepare me for any 
work Thou mayest yet call me to. Enable 
me to grow in the knowledge of what may 
help others, but, above all, in the knowledge 
of Thee my Saviour, from Whom comes the 
will to work for Thee. Every day and hour I 
feel this is a place where they understand 
training, and*where one may, slowly perhaps 
but all the more surely, be really grounded and 
brought on. The pastor said such a true word, 
*We are too apt to be contented with spend- 
ing our own strength, and not think enough of 
training up others to take our places when God 
sees fit to remove us.' At 2 o'clock, went 
with Sister Sophie to visit Frau Pastor Dis- 
sel'hof and her lunatic asylum ; I should any- 
where have recognized the Louisa Fliedner of 
old, but her three fine children keep her now 
too busy to be as formerly the sunerintendent • 


and though she still has the direction of the 
institution, Sister Amelia, who took us over it, 
is the active head. At 5, I returned to the 
hospital much engrossed with the thoughts of 
the letter I wrote to my mother before going to 
bed, about remaining here for the winter. It 
seems the wisest plan, now I am here, but 
God can show me my way clearly. If I am to 
stay, I trust He will be my Teacher and pre- 
pare me for whatever He may call me to do, 
if He so honours me as to allow me to work 
for Him ; and if it be to return, oh, how gladly 
shall I meet my own dear ones, and return to 
my loved people and happy work. The inde- 
cision kept me awake nearly all night, and I 
trust that my wakefulness may be blessed to 
my choice, enabling me as it did again and 
again to seek direction from Him Whom they 
call here so beautifully, 'unser heimsuchen 
Gott.'* I trust by all now and hereafter He 
may lay upon me, it is more and more seeking 
to bring me home to Himself.'* 

^'Saturday. — At 5.30, I went to the hospital, 
and God seems already answering my prayer ; 


I found SO many little things I could do to 
help. I had not time till near dinner to take 
my. letter to the post-oiBce room. I am really 
now at home in my station, and Sister Gret- 
chen, who is its head, is so kind that she 
gives me work to do. I am sorry to think I 
am soon to leave it, and a little nervous about 
going to the men's hospital on Monday." 

** October ist, — Met Sister Sophie, and asked 
her to let me wait for my dress before I go. 
to the men's hospital. I am very nervous 
about this going, and want to be as like those 
usually about them as possible, no distinguish- 
ing mark to make me seem different. Read to 
Caroline Romans viii., which she seemed to 
enjoy ; 'then to Louisa, and taught the little 
girl her texts. At 3.30 to the church for the 
* Stille Stunde,' which lasts thirty minutes. 
Two verses of a hymn are sung, then each 
reads or prays quietly for the rest of the time. 
At 4, one sister repeats aloud the Lord's 
Prayer, and we separate; I, to the English 
lesson I am to give daily to Sister L. ; then 
preparing the sick for the night, and a short 


time in Sister Sophie's room. To-day the 
Reichardt sisters started for Duisberg to meet 
their brother. Sister R. came to bid me good- 
bye, praying God to go with them and to re- 
main with us. How glorious is the thought 
of His eternal omniscience and omnipresence, 
here and at Fahan. Sister C. came to see my 
room to-day ; she said, ' I like its number, 
103, it reminds me of the 103rd Psalm.' I 
thanked her in my heart for the word. Truly 
I can say, * Forget not all His benefits;' how 
many and great they are. ^ Lobet den Herr, 
Er ist freundlich ;' friendly, yes, my friend here 
among strangers." 

^' Tuesday. — Found my dress in my room on 
returning from Pastor D.'s class ; as soon as 
ready, I went to show myself to Si'dter Sophie, 
and ask for my new name. * Sister Agnes.' 
She said she would take me this evening to 
the Men's Hospital, so, after giving my English 
lesson, I went to her. Sister M. in the wards 
is different from any sister I have yet come 
in contact with, but she seems very handy, 
and well fitted for her post. I hope I may 


learn much from her. I go with trembling, 
but it encourages me to feel I have made 
friends here, in the sorrow of the sisters and 
patients in the wards I am leaving. Truly 
it is of the Lord. I, a poor stranger, scarcely 
understanding or understood, have found favour 
through His loving aid, have been led so far, 
and kept from ' Heimweh,' and even here am 
called to do a work for Him as one of His. 
I almost feel as if the Lord had some purpose 
in bringing me here; He is so keeping me 
from undue longing for my friends and people." 
** October ^rd. — I cannot express all the affec- 
tion of the women in the hospital is to me. 
It is more (with reverence be it spoken) as a 
revelation of the presence with me of Him 
Who is the ever present friend. A busy day 
for me, which is also a blessing to be thankful 
for, kindness heaped on me on every side. 
Why ? I cannot tell. Whence ? Surely but 
of the Lord, and yet to-day there is a burden 
on this poor little faithless heart. The dif- 
ficulty of understanding and being understood ; 
perhaps I have not been exerting myself 


enough to get on with the language. In the 
morning, helped in the female ward till break- 
fast. At 7, to the men's hospital. Sister M., 
to my great delight, put me at once to work ; 
first, washing the glasses, etc. used by the 
sick during the night, then dusting and wash- 
ing furniture in the bed-rooms, seeing the 
dressing of the wounds, etc., washing up of 
breakfast things, and then I was sent to sit 
in the room with a dying man. Could I have 
chosen my work, it would have been this ; 
but, oh, how I longed for v/ords ! and yet I 
feared to speak, partly because he was too 
weak for the exertion of mind to understand 
me ; partly, because I was unwilling he should 
know my ignorance of the language, lest he 
should be nervous at the thought of my not 
understanding his wants. But I could pray 
for him, and it was so sweet to think One 
was there who could do all without my help, 
and Who could hear my prayer, and answer 
the poor sick man's oft repeated cry, * Lieber 
Heiland, hilf mich.' His constant cough was 
very distressing, yet he scarcely seems to me 


SO near death as they think him. After dinner, 
returned to my post. At 2, Pastor S.'s class: 
then my Enghsh lesson, and then to men's 
hospital again till 7 ; after tea, a visit to Sister 
G., and then to the female wards to say good- 
night to my friends." 

One or two letters about this date give 
further details of the proposed change in her 
plans : — 

''My darling Mother, — This has been 
such a day of visiting and variety, that between 
thoughts of everything I see and hear, — 
thoughts of you and J., and so many, many 
thoughts of all my loved, so loved people, and 
then the real hard work of constantly talking 
and trying to understand, with the nervous- 
ness of my talks with the two pastors to-day ; 
all this has made me feel rather tired to-night, 
but it is the first time I have felt so. I must 
tell you of my day : as usual, up at 5 ; hosr 
pital for half an hour ; at 6.15, breakfast and 
prayers ; at 7, hospital again until 10.30, when 
I was called to the head sister's room to 
Pastor Fliedner. Now I must tell you that 


I fancied he had forgotten me, for except the 
dinner on Sunda} , at which he scarcely spoke, 
I have not seen him. With all his bad health, 
however (consumption), it is wonderful how he 
is yet the head and mainspring of this great 
establishment ; and how training others for 
usefulness is understood by him, and by those 
who are the heads of the different divisions. 
Now there is Sister Sophie, the hospital super- 
intendent, no matter at what hour I go to visit 
her, some one comes in at every moment for 
directions, or to tell how such-and-such a 
thing is going on ; yet every little detail I am to 
see and know, everything I should be present 
at, a message comes to me, — nothing ever 
seems forgotten. But to return to the pastor : 
though he is not very formidable, a little 
quaking one came in to him. He had a book 
of his printed directions for parish visiting to 
give me, and then asked me to take a walk 
with him in the garden. I was soon quite at my 
ease, and we were talking busily. He spoke 
most strongly to me of what he himself has 
quite acted up to — ^^of our not only seeking to 


be ourselves useful, but to be the preparers of 
others to take our place : and that, if nothing 
else, is the art here. He then spoke most 
wisely and kindly to me about the uselessness 
of spending only six weeks here. Till to-day, 
never had the thought of a longer stay here 
come to me. But there was so much wisdom 
in his words that this day has been one of 
much thought on the subject. It was hard 
to tear myself away from home and poor, 
but now I am here, is it not better to stay 
and learn thoroughly, not by halves ? on the 
other hand, is it leaving a plain clearly given 
work for another ? Were my life to be limited 
to a few years at Fahan, six weeks here might 
do, but what if longer life is before me, may 
I not be called and enabled to do more, if 
prepared with God's blessing ? But, oh, my 
heart goes so after my people ! Whatever you 
decide for me, mother darling, to return home 
or to remain here is alike to me. So much 
is to be said on both sides, I feel either would 
make me happy, and yet in either I shall 
have something to regret in losing the other." 


''Journal, Thursday, — A fortnight here, and 
in looking back I can take courage and go on 
trusting Him who has helped me hitherto. 
Got up very headachy, but went at 5.30 to the 
hospital; made beds, etc. till breakfast, then 
back to work : the dying man is weaker to- 
day ; read to one ill with dropsy John v. and 
a hymn.'* 

*^ Saturday. — A walk to-day with some con- 
valescents ; still undecided about the winter. 
Mamma's letter leaving me free choice when 
I had hoped to have the decision made for 
me. May God guide me ; home, country, and 
poor are very very dear, and yet now I am here, 
should I not stay and learn ?" 

The letter in which she acknowledges my 
mother's reply to her request for leave to re- 
main the winter is as follows : — 

*' My darling Mother,— A thousand loving 
thanks for your letter, received Saturday, and 
for the free choice you give me. It is hard 
to choose, for home is home, and kind friends 
are not mother and sister, and a strange 
tongue keeping one on the strain in speaking 


and listening, is a barrier to free intercourse ; 
still I am happy here, and when wishes will go 
homewards, I think of the future, and pray to 
return wiser and better to enjoy a hundred 
times more, and feel, oh so deeply, the bless- 
ings of a home. To me the deaconess calling 
is a problem ; as a Christian, feeling and 
knowing I am not my own, and that all time 
and strength and powers are to be rendered 
back to the Great Giver of all, I think every 
one is as much called on as a deaconess is, 
to work for Him who iirst loved us ; but if this 
does not constrain us as Christians, neither will 
it as deaconesses, and certainly the ^ Anstalt ■ 
is a w^orld in which the Martha-spirit may be 
found as well as in the outer world. There are 
many most deeply taught Christians here, 
manv whose faces shine, but I should sav, 
comparing my home life (but few have such a 
home) with that of the deaconesses here, I 
should say, that in many positions here, there 
are more, not only daily but hourly tempta- 
tions. There are great privileges, teaching, 
worship, means of grace, two pastors for the 


Institution besides Pastor Fliedner. While he 
lives, he will be the ruling spirit, but it is in 
the direction and supervision of all, by private 
walks and talks with the deaconesses, — by 
writing books and letters : he is too delicate for 
anything public. It is wonderful to think that 
he is the head of upwards of fifty establish- 
ments ; 250 deaconesses and nearly 400 novices, 
—this is twenty-four years' work. The pastors 
are most evangelical and earnest; Pastor 
Strieker, who has for many years been here, 
is one deeply learned in the Scriptures, but 
Pastor Disselhof is to me more attractive, 
because more easily understood. I longed on 
Sunday for Aunt J.'s power of reproducing a 
sermon ; his, though quite extempore, was so 
perfect in its arrangements, so clear and 
earnest, so simple yet attractive. T have gone 
far, however, from what I sat do\\n to write 
of my plans ; yet plans I cannot call them, 
for as it is hard for you to give, so is it hard for 
me to ask leave to stay, and yet I feel as if 
I ought to do so, after the wrench it was 
leaving home. I can say, as the German so 


beautifully expresses it, ' Der Herr ist freund- 
lich/ for I am happy and contented ; and yet 
when one comes to look into the life here, it 
has scarcely a point of resemblance to what I 
have been accustomed to. I do not find time 
for half I want to do ; I am in the male hos- 
pital, under such a clever trainer, she will 
not overlook the smallest thing, and yet is 
kind withal. I give an English lesson every 
day, and my pupil is going to give me a 
German half-hour. I hope to bring J. back 
the seed of a creeper which is so pretty now, 
with its bright red autumn leaves ; they say 
this is the prettiest time for it, as the flower 
is small and colourless. My idea is to remain 
here as long as I feel I can learn anything, 
and then perhaps to go to Elberfeld, or one 
of the other Institutions near, and then home 
soon after Christmas; but, of course, circum- 
stances must influence ; we plan, God arranges 
and directs. My own darling mother, I would 
say to you as I often do to myself, let us not 
look forward further than to count the cost, 
if it be needful that this should be the be- 


ginning of a longer separation. The present 
training is only taking advantage of the op- 
portunity given me, and I trust ere long, if it 
be God's will to spare and bless us all, we may 
have a happy meeting. Whatever be the right 
way, I trust God will show it to us plainly ! 
but, as I said before, my own darling, your 
wishes shall be my guide, now and for the 
future, as long as I am blessed with such a 
loving counsellor. I trust my present training 
in obedience will not be lost in reference to 
home. And yet, little as I ever was to you of 
what I should have been, yours is the hardest 
trial in the separation. I often ask myself, 
why is this ? Why have I chosen to stay 
here ? Theoretically it is easier to have my 
free will at home, than, as here, to have to be 
under orders,* — even at school or meal hours 

*■ The following sentence in a recent pamphlet by the Rev. A. 
Moody Stuart seems to suggest one cause of the non-success of Dea- 
coness Institutions in England ; Agnes often said the most valuable 
lesson she learned at Kaiserswerth was that of implicit obe- 
dience ;— ' 

" In visiting the Protestant Hospital of Kaiserswerth, it is hum« 



I must tell the head sister why I leave the 
room, etc. There is more variety and seeming 
usefulness in visiting my poor than in trying to 
please little children or feeding sick ones the 
greater part of the day, and yet though I so 
theorize, I feel it is good for me to be here 
whatever may be before me. God has given 
me a happy, contented spirit ; may He only 
enable me, more and more, to give my heart 
and soul and spirit as I have given myself more 
entirely to Him. Home, and my loved ones 
and poor, never were so dear. God can 
strengthen for whatever He appoints when the 
time comes. My own darling, ever believe 
your child's love. 

A. E. Jones." 


" Journal, Sunday, October, i860. — After 
church, sat with the dying man as usual ; after 

bling and instructive to hear that the evangelical congregations of 
Britain famish less useful sick-nurses than the churches tinged w^ith 
ritualism : because the nurses that come from us are more anxious 
to take charge and to administer medicines than to obey, to learn, 
to serve. In the German nurses it is beautiful to see the spirit of 
self-denial and submission and service.'* 


dinner, went with Sister L. to see a poor 
woman ; took charge of the women's hospital 
while the sisters were at church, and read a 
Httle in each of the four rooms. After tea, from 
8 to 9, ' Bet-Stunde :' at this it is usual to read 
over the list of names of the deaconesses, their 
various positions and occupations, before the 
beginning of the prayer." 

^* Wednesday. — Last night, indeed, since Mon- 
day, very unwell, and to-day I had to lie in bed 
and the doctor came ; but though feeling worse 
than I ever remember to have done before with 
dreadful spasms, and fearing a long illness, God 
kept me quiet and enabled me to feel only my 
many blessings ; only for one moment did an 
overwhelming longing for my mother's hand 
about me, come over me, and that, perhaps, 
was allowed to show the blessing of being kept 
so peacefully contented, ^ Oh, forget not all His 
benefits.' Such kindness and love from all 
around. I chose to have read Hebrews v. and 
Psalm xxvii,, and felt them to come home." 

'' Thursday. — Weak, but out of bed and sat 
in dear Sister S.'s room some time ; read a 

K a 


little and enjoyed the ' Stille-Stunde ' in the 
church ; thankful for strength to go there." 

*' Friday, — Hospital as usual." 

'* Saturday. — Sat much of the day with Bru- 
nig, who still lingers ; at night studied the 
Gospel as of old for Sunday-school, and hope to 
make it a practice every Saturday, and, with 
God's help, to find a blessing." 

*'iyth. — Men's hospital all day; no walk. 
Sister L. heard that she is to go to Syria, on 
Monday, for two months." 

** 2oth. — Days come and go with little variety ; 
no time now for visits, and only now and then 
for a peep at Sister Sophie; to-day she took 
me to see the asylum where I am to go on 

Some further details of her life, during this 
first month at Kaiserswerth, may be taken from 
her letters : — 

" Your last letter amused me very much, dear 
over-anxious little mother, so, to put your mind 
at ease, let me tell you, first, as to fires in our 
rooms, we have stoves and every requisite, and 
here, in five minutes, with no trouble, one ha? 


a hot fire ; but I never have one and enjoy my 
cooler room, for the hot dry air from the stoves 
is very trying; then, as to the cleaning of my 
tiny room — not larger than J.'s dressing-room 
— it is a simple quiet process in the style adop- 
ted here, and I need not do it, but as there are 
no servants and the deaconesses do everything, 
I was shamed into doing all myself by seeing 
my neighbour, who is eighty, every day clean- 
ing her far larger room. I have now only eight 
classes a week, for the ' mother^ thought I had 
too many lessons to give ; my pupils had really 
become a most engrossing interest, though at 
first I found my classes a nervous and difficult 
business ; now I am, with the exception of my 
class hours, from 7 till 7 with fourteen sick 
boys ; some, to my sorrow, are too well, for 
the walk with them, and, worse still, the keep- 
ing them at lessons or work, is no easy task 
when I am left, as is sometimes the case, in 
sole charge. The very sick and very young 
ones are a great interest, but I get on wonder- 
fully with all, in spite of my want of the art of 
government. I am often a subject of merri- 


ment, as )^ou may suppose, from my ignorance 
of the language ; but, to my delight, I can now 
teach the sick and very young their texts. 
Yesterday I was a long time with a dear in- 
valid sister, who was so much better, we mu- 
tually enjoyed a long talk ; the doctor thought 
her recovering, but to-day she has broken a 
blood-vessel ; perhaps I may never see her 
alive again. She said to me yesterday, ' Don't 
you pity me getting better?' It is to me an 
encouraging thought that He who knows all 
things, knew and pitied her weakness, and so 
would not call on the little strength to meet 
the world again. He, too, knows my weakness, 
and will help me in whatever service He allows 
me to engage in. I do sometimes long for 
home-sights and voices, my mother's face and 
kiss, and for special walks and views at Fahan, 
for all my poor ; how often they are thought of 
and prayed for ! I want to know so much about 
them all, — they can never think of me more 
than I think of them,— I could send a thousand 
loves. The pastor is more and more a wonder 
to me, — his great desire to make his work r^- 


productive ; he told me he was so disappointed 
to find Mrs. Fry's work, about which they had 
consulted together, so much a limited one, as 
he says, the nurse's sphere is so limited in com- 
parison to what it might be, and also that there 
is no attempt made to raise them by mental 
culture ; when one sees the new-comers here 
often, one feels what a work of love and pa- 
tience will be needed before they can be made 
gentle or refined, and this last word is, what to 
a certain point, might apply to all the deaconess- 
es ; there is such gentleness and refinement 
even about those whom one knows to be of the 
lower classes ; it is not to say they are perfect, 
— all speak of peculiar temptations, and of be- 
setting sins, but there is such a repose even in 
their activity. On Saturday there was a tele- 
gram from Pastor D. from Syria, for an imme- 
diate reinforcement of sisters ; so that after- 
noon, two started off to bid their parents good- 
bye ; they returned on Monday to leave at day- 
break on Tuesday. The parents of one were 
sickly and old, and they objected to the dis- 
tance ; in such cases the pastor always makes 


home the first duty, and sends the sisters there 
at any time they are really wanted ; so a sister 
who was to have gone to Berlin goes to Syria 
instead. She arrived here on Monday night at 
midnight, heard the change in her destination, 
and was off before six, so it is sometimes quick 
work ; but I do not see how when one's life is 
given, it much matters where it is spent. The 
rule here is that every sister visits home every 
third year." 

*' October, i860. — It has been such a pleasure 
that to-day I was able to follow Pastor S.'s 
sermon ; he is a most holy man, mighty in the 
Scriptures, but one whom hitherto I have not 
been able to understand well. It is always 
such a pleasure to me that the Epistle and 
Gospel are the same as our own, — a chapter in 
the Old Testament is read and a confession, 
also the creed, but the prayers are mostly ex- 
tempore. I enjoy the truly evangelical teach- 
ing. To-morrow will be the king's birthday, 
lind there will be special services. Daily the 
church is open for half an hour, and all who 
can go to the ' Stille-Stunde,'— silent, except 


when a verse is sung at the opening and the 
Lord's Prayer read at the close. My friend 
Sister Gretchen is leaving to-morrow ; there 
are such constant changes ; then a call comes 
from a distance, the best are sent off and new 
ones trained in their place. It is a comfort to 
think Sister Sophie, my mother here, will not 
be sent aw^ay while she has strength for her 
most arduous post. The king is very kind and 
has always taken much interest in the Institu- 
tion, which he once visited. A deaconesses' 
house was lately burned at Beyrout or Smyrna, 
I forget which, and he has wTitten to tell the 
pastor he will provide bedding and linen, etc. ; 
and as he wishes to give employment to Berlin 
manufacturers, he says, if directions are sent as 
to what is required, all shall be prepared and 
fonvarded. Sunday is the great day here for 
celebrations, so yesterday was the harvest 
home. The girls and orphans having helped in 
the field-work, had the ' Feste ' in their re- 
spective houses at 7 o'clock. There had been 
great preparations going on all day, — wTeaths 
ot flowers and every variety of vegetables dis- 


played, all done with so much taste ; it looked 
very gay when Pastor Strieker arrived. After 
reading and explaining the looth Psalm, he said 
grace, and the feast began with the most hor- 
rible beer-soup, which all seemed to enjoy, but 
I could not touch ; potatoes fried in butter, 
onion-salad, and cold sausages, etc. Then the 
pastor, sisters, and mother told stories, which, 
with singing, kept us till 9.30. The mother's 
stories interested me much, being on the sub- 
ject of answers to prayer and trials of faith as 
to the supply of the money wants of the Insti- 
tution. We have lovely weather now, and such 
nights ! the moon and stars are so lovely I do 
not light my candle to dress or sweep my room 
in the morning ; I do ail by moonlight, and am 
over at my post at six. Lady M. F.'s parcel of 
pamphlets was such a delight to me ; you 
can't know the pleasure I anticipate in reading 
them. I so long to know what goes on in my 
own land and how the truth is spreading there. 
Death has been busy here ; yesterday we had, 
in the afternoon, the funeral of a novice, and in 
the evening the funeral sermon of a sister who 


died in Jerusalem ; a pearl, indeed, not twenty- 
one, but the pride of the pastor, whose spiritual 
daughter she truly was. She had been brought 
as an orphan, only nine years old, to the Or- 
phan House here/* 

'^Journal, Oct, 21st, — This has been a day 
of varied feelings ; the communion was to be 
administered to the four sisters who are leaving, 
and any others who wished to receive it. Pastor 
Fliedner was able to take a part in the service ; 
and, indeed, one felt it good to be there to hear 
the simple yet impressive prayer after the con- 
fession, and, above all, the thrilling address to 
the sisters before administering 'the sacrament. 
He repeated the narrative of the angel feeding 
Elijah with food, in the strength of which he 
w^ent forty days on his journey. ^ So too,' he 
said, ^ are you called on a journey, but it is a 
high calling, a following in His footsteps Who 
went forth to seek the lost. You need strength 
not only to meet outward, but inward tempta- 
tions, and you have well done that you have 
come in these outward symbols to seek to grasp 
the inward thing signified. You, too, iriends 


and acquaintances who will thus bid youl 
Bisters farewell, have well done that you have 
come.' After dinner, I ran for my Bible and 
went up, as usual, to sit with Brunig ; the door 
was locked and I turned away, thinking the 
attendant was there ; not far from the door the 
old servant saw me and said, * Do you wish to 
go in ?' * Yes, but the door is locked.* ' Oh, I 
will open it.* He did so, and there lay a corpse. 
He had died while we were at dinner, and 
Sister M. did not like to send for me. I felt 
his death very much, for we are not quite happy 
about him. At 7.30, after the dressings of 
wounds, I bid adieu to the men's hospital, and 
Sister L. came to me for a long farewell ; we 
may never meet again, but I shall not soon for- 
get her kindness to a stranger, and hope I have 
learned a lesson from her of sympathy and ten- 
derness. We then went to the hall; before 
the pastor and mother were ranged to the right 
the nine last arrived novices, who were to be 
welcomed, and to the left the four sisters of 
whom leave was to be taken. After a few words 
of prayer for blessing, the 121st Psalm was 


read ; the ^ welcome ' sung, and a prayer for 
help in the difficulties and trials before them, 
for blessings on their work here, and for perse- 
verance to the end, the pastor and mother then 
went forward and shook hands with each, add- 
ing a few words of welcome ; then the pastor 
gave an address, showing his views and object 
in sending out the sisters ; then he read Psalm 
xci., and spoke to the deaconesses. Hymns 
appropriate to the occasion were sung, and then 
the Levitical blessing from the pastor, he lay- 
ing his hand on the head of each ; he and 
the mother then took leave, she lingering to 
whisper a few last words. Friends pressed 
round ; L. and I ran together into the passage, 
hoping for a few quiet minutes, but w^e w^ere 
separated in the crowd, for it was late and not 
a moment to spare, so I came to my room, 
having indeed lost a friend, and yet I like to 
call her one, who has gone to help Syrian 
Christians, sent by England's means to the 
work. It was 9.30 when they started ; they 
were to travel all night, and arrive late to-mor 
row at Berlin." 



Nov. /[th. — I come over from the other 
house every morning at six, the ground white 
and windows frozen over; often at 3 in the 
afternoon the water outside is still frozen, yet 
night or morning I never put on bonnet or 
handkerchief, unless when I go out for a walk. I 
was practising cupping on a patient last Satur- 
day, but must have another trial soon. The 
letters from Syria are most interesting ; both 
hospital and orphan house at Beyrout are to be 
begun at once. Two sisters have been there 
for some weeks ; both were ill, one in fever, the 
other dysentery; the latter, however, was 
obliged to go about, having the sole charge of 
twelve orphans and sixteen sick. Fancy her 
joy on opening the door one evening to see the 
unexpected party from this, — Pastor D. and the 
sisters. All here are so kind, but no place is 
like home, so if you wish for me at any time, 
only say so, and gladly and unmurmuringly 
will I go ; do remember and believe this.^' 

''Monday. — Went to Sister Sophie after 
prayers, who told me to go to the ^asile.' 
Waited a little to luxuriate in home letters. 


Soon after reaching the ^ asile,' the Pastor sent 
for me to ask me to give the Enghsh lessons in 
the training-school till he can make some better 
arrangement. Went with him to hear the ex- 
amination of twenty-four new pupils in order to 
test their proficiency. They wrote from dicta- 
tion, etc., for me, and read and translated be- 
fore the pastor. The other examinations were 
in singing, history, and geography. This lasted 
from 9 to 12, and again from 2 to 5.30.'' 

^'Tuesday. — Pastor F. having desired me to 
be at the seminariste at 8, I did not go further 
than the woman's hospital before that hour. I 
found the young women all arranged behind 
their desks, and the teachers in their places. 
After singing and prayer. Pastor S. read part of 
Psalm cxix., and spoke on the passage ; Pastor 
Fliedner then addressed them in a most affect- 
ing manner, so that there was scarcely a dry 
eye in the room : — * My dear daughters in the 
Lord, I bid you heartily welcome, and I must 
speak a few words to express my welcome ; 
seeing fifty-eight of you here, I cannot but ex- 
claim, '' My soul rejoiceth in the Lord, for he 


hath regarded my low estate.'^ I rejoice to see 
you all here, coming in the desire to learn how 
to lead little lambs to Jesus, to be fellow- 
workers with Him ; but remember, he that 
worketh must be first partaker. I feel grateful 
to those parents who have intrusted you to our 
care, and entreat of you to be open with the 
mother and me, and to come to us for every 
sympathy as you would to your own parents. 
I rejoice, too, when I look forward ; if you are 
faithful, what lambs you may bring to the fold 
— what harps and crowns add to that white- 
robed multitude now before the throne.' 

*' I returned to the ^ asile,' and spent the day 
there ; some were busy digging potatoes, most 
washing, churning, and preparing supper. The 
rules were read to me, as they must be to 
every new-comer and again every month or 
six weeks before all assembled together, when 
the daily conduct book is also read ; in this 
are written the punishments found needful, and 
all particulars of the dealings with each. The 
inmates are all to come to the asylum of their 
free will, with the full knowledge of the design 



of the house, being to teach them of the 
Saviour, and to bring them to Him, and 
so coming with free will, it is hoped they 
will receive the instruction here given thank- 
fully and with gratitude to God for having led 
them here. If, however, punishment be needed, 
it is various. For sleeping in church, inatten- 
tion at prayers. Scripture reading, etc. etc., 
they are shut out from such services, and, at 
the same time, from any pleasure or amuse- 
ment, the walk, the singing-class, etc., perhaps 
kept in their own room apart from others. 
This last is also the punishment for disobe- 
dience, quarrels, unwillingness to work. Sew- 
ing is placed in their room, a Bible, hymn and 
prayer-book; but when confined there, the 
food is plainer than that of the others. Some- 
times the idle are deprived of a meal, especially 
when they have to be placed in the ^ Dunkel- 
Zimmer,' which is not, however, quite dark, 
but a bare closet with only a small window in 
it ; there is the straw with which they are to 
make mats as their only occupation, — they are 

only released on begging pardon. The greatest 



punishment is expulsion, seldom resorted to, 
and when it must be done, the girl is given in 
charge of the police. New-comers are kept 
apart from the others. None are put out to 
service under a year, some are kept over two. 
They are then placed in service carefully 
sought out for them ; while there, they are 
written to and visited, from time to time ; 
another service found, if needed, and if they 
are in want, through no fault of their own, 
they are assisted. When placed out, they 
receive clothes and everything necessary, Bible, 
hymn-book, etc. The eve of their departure 
is a holiday. If, however, any wish to leave 
the asylum before their term expires, they are 
not allowed to go before they have spent some 
days quietly in their rooms, where it is hoped 
they may come to a better mind; for which the 
sisters pray for and with them. Here are 
received all who had been in prison, whether 
thieves or otherwise fallen : full particulars 
of their former lives must be given to the 
sister before their coming ; no reference is 
afterwards made directly to it, and every pains 


is taken to prevent their talking over their 
sinful doings to their companions. They rise 
at 5, wash, dress, make their beds, and, when 
ready, come down to the sitting-room, where 
they learn their verses ; read or work till six, 
which is prayer-time, then breakfast ; work till 
9.30, bread and coffee, work again till twelve ; 
dinner, return to work at i, having half an 
hour's liberty between ; 3, coffee : at 7 supper ; 
5, class or working hour ; at 9, those who rose 
at 4 for washing go to bed, the rest not till 10, 
Scripture lessons are given during the week, 
and reading and writing lessons to those who 
require them. Every month the girls have 
different work, — kitchen, attending cows and 
pigs, house-work or washing, field labour, etc. 

*' Went to the funeral of the lady from the 
lunatic asylum : she was a true child of God, 
and His word could quiet her at all times; 
though here she walked through a dark valley, 
now she sees Him whom she loved. Her 
favourite psalm, 55th, is true of her ; she is 
now praising him in Zion." 

L 2 


" Wednesday. — Went to the asylum for prayers 
at 6, and then with the girls to their various 
occupations till 9, then English classes/' etc. 

^' Saturday . — On returning to-day from Co- 
logne, where I had gone for a few hours, I met 
at the station, to my great joy, Sister F., who 
was on her way back from private nursing. It 
was such a pleasure to be warmly greeted by 
the friends whom I had left only for a few 
hours ; a beautiful bouquet was in my room to 
welcome me, and all so kindly and thought- 
fully arranged. The Russian Sister C. very 
ill in bed some days. My English classes, 
which I so dreaded, are now great enjoyment 
to me ; oh, when shall I learn not to burden 
myself with fears ? how often have I tried the 
Lord's long suffering with me in this way, and 
yet in mercy He meets me ! The clouds I so 
much dread, turn out ever big with mercy, 
and yet I forget the lesson when the next trial 

*' Sunday. — All day in the ^asile,' and with the 
girls to church. When they went out for their 
walk, I came over to see the Misses M.; visited 


my hospital friends in female ward ; found the 
old woman dying ; then spent an hour in the 
parish with Sister Louisa. In church to-day, 
before the pulpit and over the communion- 
table, hung a crown of cypress with white 
flowers interwoven, — the orphans' tribute to 
one of their number who is just dead of typhus 
fever at Jerusalem, where she was labouring as 

*' Wednesday, — The two asylum girls who are 
to be confirmed were examined to-day in the 
church. Sister S. told me that Sister A. said 
to her one day, ^ I should like it to be written on 
mv tombstone, — Here lies one v/ith whom the 
Lord has had great patience, but who, through 
free grace, is with Him.' " 

'* Saturday, Nov, lofh. — Classes in morning 
and at the asylum all day. Being my birth* 
day, I was specially anxious to have time for 
the * Stille-Stunde,' and found it indeed what 
the name implies, for I was there alone. On 
coming to my room afterwards. Sister S. came 
in to wish me many happy returns of the day, 
and a year rich in blessing and growth in 


grace ; it went so to my heart, this unexpected 
greeting, and the more so, as my own mother's 
letter had come yesterday. As soon as we 
were seated at supper, a few verses of a hymn 
were sung outside the door, and a plate was 
brought in with a pretty wreath lighted up by 
little tapers. I ran out and found a gathering 
of friends ; inside my wreath was a little 
marker and a paper with a few texts, and, 
when I came to my room, there was a lovely 
bouquet and another paper of texts. Precious 
tokens of Christian love in a far land !" 

^^ Wednesday, — Funeral of the negress Susan- 
nah, who died of cancer. Visit to Sister S., 
who, in speaking of the pastor, said he was so 
strict arid yet so full of love ; yesterday a 
novice, who was to be sent away, went to 
entreat him to give her another trial, for which 
he came to beg Sister S. as humbly and 
anxiously as if he had been the culprit. Of 
his simplicity and kind thoughtfulness she gave 
me several instances, — at the time he was so 
ill and scarcely able to do anything, he was 
often found mending his little children's toys. 


. * 

One day the asylum girls were working in the 
field, the pastor watched them awhile, advised 
them to be industrious, and, on his return, 
perceiving how much work had been got 
through, he went home to order them cakes 
for supper." 

''igth. — Asylum all day; with the girls in the 
turnip-field ; returned for the * Stille-Stunde.' " 

*^ 20th. — The whole day in the asylum. Pas- 
tor Fliedner sent for me in the evening; the 
deaconesses are to come to me for separate 
English lessons ; the pastor, as a father would 
for his children, begged me not to be too hard 
on them and require too much preparation. 
Love is indeed his motto. He asked how I 
got on ; I said I felt so ignorant. ^ Oh,' he 
said, ^ love will help : that is the needful point.' 
They say he can be very stern, but if he 
wounds with one word, he salves the wound 
with the next." 

, " 26th, — An English beginner, I must take 
alone daily till she gets up with her class, so 
now I teach English sixteen hours a week." 

** 2Sth. — A busy day. Asylum in morning ; 


9 to II, English lessons; ii to 12, Ranke's 
class on education ; 2 to 3, English lessons ; 
3 to 4, church ; 4 to 5, Sister S. and C. ; 5 to 
7, Ranke's classes.'* 

'' Dec. 4th. — Went to Boys' Hospital ; saw 
dressing of broken leg and arm." 

We must again supplement with extracts 
from letters, as the journals are much inter- 
rupted at this busy time : — 

'^November. — We had a most interesting 
service yesterday, when two of the asylum 
girls were confirmed ; the Wednesday before, 
at our usual midday service, they had been 
examined before the congregation. The con- 
firmation service was much like our own, the 
only difference that to the last question, instead 
of a simple answer, each girl took an oath on 
the Bible and gave the pastor her hand, in 
token that, with God's help, she would be 
faithful unto death. Then to each he gave a 
Bible with a few words of advice and a text. 
While we sang hymns, the Communion was then 
administered. In the evening we had a Feste, 
—rooms lighted up and ornamented with 


flowers, etc. All was so simple and earnest, 
pleasant, yet never forgetting the solemnity of 
the day. I never felt so angry with English 
red-tapeism as now ; Pastor D. writes from 
Syria that the English hospital is the greatest 
disgrace, — a mere shed, said to be good enough, 
because temporary ; no one to nurse or clean, 
etc. ; sick and well lying crowded together, in 
a place where water, debris of every kind, skins, 
bits of meat, and vegetables are thrown out. 
There are the deaconesses ready and willing 
to come and help, and day after day the Com- 
mittee must sit to consult whether thev will 
accept their help or not ; meanwhile many are 
dying of want ; the end will be, when they 
accept it, the deaconesses will have full em- 
ployment in their own house. The English 
send plenty of money, but hands are wanting. 
It is no new thought wath me that mine are 
strong and willing ; I would gladly offer them ; 
could my own mother bear to think of her child 
for the next few months as in Syria instead of 
Germany? It is but temporary, and yet an 
urgent case. My favourite motto came last 


Sunday, ' The Lord hath need;' if He has need 
of my mother's permission to her child, He 
will enable her to give it. This is but the 
expression of a wish, and if my own mother 
were to be made too anxious by the granting 
it, let it be as if unasked by her own Agnes. 

'^ I am so delighted with the Advent-tree. A 
fir-tree is brought, to which hoops are fastened 
in four tiers ; on each hoop seven tapers are 
fastened ; the children are gathered in the room 
and the questioning begins at the very begin- 
ning of Genesis. When the fall of man comes, 
the room is darkened ; and when the first pro- 
mise has been repeated and explained, the child 
who could repeat it, takes a card or coloured 
flag on which it is written, lights a taper and 
ties on the flag, so on, till one promise for every 
week-day is given, and seven tapers and flags 
are placed on the tree. Each Sunday in Advent 
a new hoop is filled in this way^ and all the 
facts and promises are thus graven on the 
children's minds. Poor SivSter C. is dying ; she 
said to me with such a lighting up of the poor 
worn face, ' I shall never go home, but only my 


body will remain here : the soul will, indeed. 
go home.' I shall miss my daily visits to her ; 
we love each other very much, and I feel her 
patience such a lesson. I always feel it as a 
token of God's good hand upon me, that I am 
laot over-anxious or unhappy about home. It 
is not like me to be so contented when far from 
my dear ones, so I feel it as a token of its 
being His will I should be here. I hope when 
I go home I shall have solved one way or other 
the, as yet, undecided question in my mind, as 
to the benefit of deaconesses over other Chris- 
tian workers. One point I have long decided, 
— it is no antidote against sin or temptation to 
become a deaconess, but whether one so set 
apart can really be more useful than other 
Christians of similar earnestness is my problem. 
Of course the training is invaluable, but I should 
say that, taking a deaconess and another Chris- 
tian of the same standing in grace and training, 
the latter m.ight do as much as the former ; the 
only thing is the training both in outward and 
spiritual things. I have an idea that if there 
were a system of parish deaconesses, with 


sufficient relief funds at their disposal, it might 
really be better to attend the poor in their 
homes (except the very wretched) than to bring 
them to a hospital ; the variety of people and 
the want of quiet to read or pray must be very 

An uncle and aunt, who were spending the 
winter at Bonn, kindly invited Agnes to spend a 
few days with them, and her next letter is dated 
from the gay scenes of a boarding-house : — 

** Bonn, December 28//1. 

" My own darling Mother, — I sit down 
to write in a scene and under circumstances so 
different from those of the last, that you must 
not wonder if my letter partakes of the bewilder- 
ment of my brain. And first, the contrast of the 
scene. In a large house so close to the Rhine 
that, as I sit at the window, I see nothing but 
the river with its frozen edges and large floating 
masses of ice, through which the little boats 
laden for market seem vainly attempting to 
cross, — oars coming constantly in useless con- 
tact with ice instead of water. The opposite 
coast, which last night I longed for daylight to 


see, is white with snow, trees with bare stems, 
and houses alone giving relief to the glare, 
softened, however, by the snowy murky sky and 
the thick fog which hides the lovely hills. So 
much for the scene without ; within, large 
handsome rooms ; instead of the white-washed 
walls and painted floors to which I have been 
lately accustomed, here are painted and gilded 
walls and soft carpets ; the simple cap and dress 
of the deaconess replaced by gay dresses, flowers, 
and head-dresses. The mannerism and formal 
politeness of general society do not contrast 
favourably with the simple loving spirit of the 
Christian circle at Kaiserswerth. But I must 
tell you of my doings there the last few days. 
We were very busy all morning, on Monday, 
preparing the hall, which is the great public 
assembly-room, with seats and benches for the 
party for the hospital Christmas tree ; then 
collecting all, first washing and dressing our 
fourteen boys, taking down and settling those 
who are most ill in the best places. One poor 
little deformed child of twelve years, and yet 
icarcely as large or as heavy as a baby of so 


many months, little Otto ; he is so covered 
with sores that it requires the greatest skill to 
touch, much more move him ; now, to my 
great delight, I can do everything for him ; at 
first I could have cried each time I touched him, 
for between real pain and pettedness, he used to 
scream so ; he was put into a baby's crib just 
under the tree, the others ranged behind on 
low benches, we novices stood against the wall 
behind the deaconesses : the large hall was 
crowded, and yet such order and quiet, and all 
was ready punctually at 4.30. The tree, with 
all its lights, so light and pretty, — nothing is 
put on the trees but paper-flowers, gold and 
silver nuts, small apples, and a few little ginger 
cakes ; on the top are four large gold-paper 
flags ; round the room, on benches, were plates 
filled with gingerbread, apples, and nuts ; near, 
or under each, the presents labelled and so 
arranged, that among the three or four hundred, 
each could be found in a few minutes. The 
mother and Pastor Strieker took their places. 
After singing, some questioning followed on the 
promises learned during Advent ; then some 


stories were told ; then an address, specially to 
the sick, closed by singing; after the presents 
had been distributed, all retired in order, each 
laden with gifts ; most of these have been sent 
in from well-wishers to the Institution. Such 
an evening as we had in the hospital, and such a 
time for days afterwards, — drums and flutes and 
all kinds of music, for none of the children were 
too ill to make a noise. On Christmas morn- 
ing, or rather at midnight the night before, 
there was such a lovely sound, soothing, but 
distinct, of the hymn sung under the pastor*s 
window, and heard in all parts of the building ; 
the singing at morning prayer was a real Hal- 
lelujah ; at 9, the morning service and Com- 
munion ; at 2, another service ; at 4, the Orphan 
House Christmas tree, at v/hich my class pre- 
sented me with a lovely little paper-basket of 
flowers. The way in which everything is done 
is so simple and genuine, that a little thing 
they give is far more valuable than what costs 
ten times as much. In the evening I went 
over to the pastor's house to ask leave to be 
absent for a few days ; while I was there we 


heard singing outside the door ; I knew it was 
the deaconesses come to sing for the pastor, as he 
had not been able to be among them that day, 
his cough being so bad. He made them all come 
in ; tears poured down his cheeks as he listened 
to his favourite hymn of praise ; then he said a 
few words, exhorting all whose hearts were at 
this time specially warmed by the beams of 
the Sun of Righteousness, to try and spread that 
warmth to other hearts. He then spoke of the 
work in Syria, whence news had just come, 
and where he hoped the last travellers had 
arrived that day. More than fifty orphans, 
besides widows and young women, have been 
already gathered by the sisters into their three 
houses in Beyrout. Another branch is to be 
established at Tyre or Sidon, and I think it 
likely another party may be soon sent out. Do 
not say I have given up Fahan. I have faced 
the possibility, and asked myself were it need- 
ful, could I do it ? One cannot look far forward, 
nor do I think it right to build castles in the 
air, save to count the cost. I feel my present 
training may be for a far distant future, My 


life at Fahan was perhaps a more teaching 
school, as far as the inner life is concerned, 
than my present one.'* 

*' D6C. ^oth, — I cannot tell you the delight it 
was to be once more at the English service, to 
join once more in the prayers and Litany, loved 
always, but more beautiful because so long un- 
heard. I longed for the people to join in the 
responses that I might do so too, aloud, for I 
had to restrain myself, often finding my voice 
the only one, and fearing it would betray the 
emotion excited by the very lovely sound of 
those familiar and dearly loved words. The 
hundredth Psalm seemed so appropriate, so 
home-like, it was more like being again in my 
mother's arms than anything else I can imagine, 
and oh, the deep gratitude I felt to Him Who 
has brought and kept me hitherto ; it was 
indeed a going up to the court of the Lord with 
my own people. Such a God as my God is ; 
He is good, more than a Father, so tender and 
loving. May He give me grace to thank Him 
for the deep joy of this day, another of His 
countkss mercies," 




Dec, ^isty i860. — On this, the last evening of 
the year, and under, perhaps, the most disagree- 
able circumstances in which the whole of it has 
seen me, I shall write a few lines. I am wait- 
ing at Cologne station in one of the numerous 
breaks of what ought to have been my three 
hours' journey. I have already been from one 
till seven o'clock in getting through what ought 
to have occupied one hour. I am snowed up. 
I wonder if my promise and wish can be per- 
formed, and whether I shall reach Kaiserswerth 
in time for the old year's midnight service. 
Here I am at 7 at the Cologne station, in the 
so-called ladies' waiting-room ; my two com 
panions being only a large man and little boy, 
both strangely clothed almost to the feet in a 
kind of pelisse of wadded material, chamois I 
thought at first, lined with fur, but now I see 
they are skin coats, the fur inside. The men 
here do look so effeminate, large wadded cloaks 
or pelisses, with tight bodies and wide skirts, 
a muff hung round their necks, and enormous 
scarfs round and round their throats, in which 
they bury mouth and nose, and yet it is not so 


very cold to me without any fur at all. How- 
ever, the snow and frost have 'been more severe 
than has been known since 1845 ; the snow 
to-day and yesterday prevented the trains 
running, and Bonn has been crowded with 
storm-bound travellers ; the Rhine has its 
edges thickly frozen, and steamers have long 
ceased to ply on account of the large blocks of 
floating ice ; the transit of small boats is tedious 
and perilous. The nun will not soon again 
leave her cell, for it was with very nun-like 
feelings she met the world again. 8.30 p.m. — 
Well, I am a stage further on my journey, and 
here at the Diisseldorf station, I may write and 
amuse myself as best I can. Poor nun, she 
would gladly be in her cell once more ; how- 
ever, as that can't be, she must, even content 
herself here, not being able to make up her 
mind to face a hotel, not liking to pay the 
iarge price asked for a sledge, and the roads 
impassable for a carriage. Another put off, the 
train will not start till 10.20. I should find the 
house shut up but for the midnight service. If 
I am in time for that, it will make up for all 

M 2 


my troubles. May God be with me now and 
then, and bring me safely there. May He take 
my thoughts and heart more up to my heavenly 

^^ January ist. — My lonely walk home from 
Calcum to Kaiserswerth in the sometimes slip- 
pery and sometimes deep snow was a rapid one, 
and yet I found time for prayer. I enjoyed the 
walk, but arrived hot and panting at the door 
to hear the service had just begun ; to fly to my 
room, pull off wet boots and put on others and 
my cap, and to my great joy and gratitude was 
in church at 11.30. The clock struck 12 in the 
middle of the service, and we were startled by 
the sudden burst of the wind instruments and 
singing of the new year hymn. My duties are 
now in the children's hospital, all ages from two 
to twelve. It is a new life for me in a nursery 
of sick children, and a busy one too, for every 
moment they want something done for them ; 
I have the charge of giving the medicines too, 
which is no sinecure. I am in such admira- 
tion of the superintendent's patience ; no matter 
what one does or forgets, I never hear a word 


of reproach. The thaw has come and the 
Rhine has risen so rapidly that they have to 
set a watcher at night, for the consequences 
are often very serious when it overflows its 
banks; the garden and mrny of the village 
kitchens are already under water ; here, the 
stores in the cellars are wet and the river is 
rising still, a foot every six hours." 

^' Monday. — Just before I posted my last 
letter, the alarm was given, ' the water is 
coming.' It had been hoped the danger was 
over, the thaw seemed so gradual, but this 
morning we heard the Moselle had risen much 
last night. The approach of an invading army 
could scarcely cause more commotion, and no 
wonder. Five years ago, the water was eight 
feet deep in the dining-rooms and kitchens, 
Every one was set to work, but in military 
order ; there was no confusion, though the 
removal of the contents of the dispensary, shop, 
three kitchens, three eating-rooms, two work- 
rooms, and sleeping-rooms of about 30 people 
to the upper floors was no easy matter, and yet 
at 7 supper was ready as usual. We had a 


prayer meeting at 8 o'clock, and now all are in 
their beds. To-day's Psalm, 91st, seemed so 
appropriate, so we can lie down in peace and 
sleep ; for our keeper wakes for us." 

*' Thursday. — The Rhine has already sunk 26 
feet, so, I suppose, we shall soon get back to 
our old quarters." 

The exact date at which the idea of going to 
help the deaconesses in Syria occurred to her 
cannot be fixed ; the letter has been given in 
which she first mentioned it to my mother, but 
it is without a date, and my impression is that 
it was not received until January. This is 
.confirmed by a detached paper in her journal, 
which, though also undated, seems to belong 
to this time, 

*^ Saturday. — This evening I came to the 
resolution to write home for permission to go 
to Syria. It is no new thought, though it 
rather quickly and unexpectedly came into 
action. Before coming here, an almost unal- 
Jowed, but not less realized motive, was that 
of preparation for the next call for nurses, 
^and Syria was even the spot with which the 


thought was associated. Suddenly the deter- 
mination came as I sat in the hospital, and 
with prayer for guidance I sought Sister S.'s 
advice before writing home. She was busy, so 
I sent her a few lines before going to bed, and 
slept undisturbed by anxious thought. In 
order not to do the thing hastily, and to give 
due time for prayer and consideration, I deter- 
mined not to dispatch my letter before the usual 
day. May God guide and bless me." 

^^ Sunday. — Longed to impart my thoughts 
and hear a word of advice, and yet the undis- 
turbed mind keeping unswervingly to the pur- 
pose was a support. It will be a new^ and diffi- 
cult life, but God can strengthen. Oh, may 
He comfort my mother. May the motto which 
nerves me, nerve her. I seem to hear * the 
Lord hath need,' and yet till the answer comes 
may He keep me in prayerful and not over- 
anxious waiting. It was 7 o'clock before I 
could see Sister S. I told her, and asked her 
to pray for me. She answered, * As the Lord 
shall give me grace to do so.' " 

^* Mortday, — As I sat this morning in the 


hospital, I felt so strongly the force of the 
words, 2 Cor. viii. 5, ^first gave their own selves 
to the Lord,' and prayed to be enabled to do 
so. The morning passed, and as my pupils 
left me, I took up my Bible to search out more 
on the verse which was so on my mind. A 
knock came to the door ; it was Sister S. 
bringing a message from the pastor. I felt he 
knew, and with a beating heart I entered his 
room ; the usual kind welcome greeted me, and 
then in a most solemn earnest manner he 
began to say, that having heard of my wish to 
give myself more to the Lord's service, he 
thought he could put before me a more urgent 
call nearer home. A letter from Miss Night- 
ingale and the spread of Popery in England, 
seemed to have suggested what I soon found 
was his plan. But I could never, however 
willing, be qualified for the post he proposes ; 
however, I gladly accepted his offer of training. 
To be fitted for a far lower post will indeed be 
a blessing and honour far beyond what I could 
ask or think. What am I, who have been so 
unfaithful in little, that I should now be called 


to come up higher ? I could only say, ' My 
soul doth magnify the Lord,' but it was too 
much filled with thoughts of self and outward 
disqualifications. This proposal has, however, 
opened my eyes, and will, I trust, yet more, 
to my own inward shortcomings and want of 

*' Tuesday. — This morning felt so oppressed 
with the thought of my unfitness for the calling 
put before me, that I could not help returning 
to my room after prayers at seven and remain- 
ing there till my ten o'clock class, in prayer 
and reading, specially passages from Jeremiah 
xxxiii. Wonderful words indeed I read, pro- 
mises, invitations, encouragements. The pas- 
tor proposed yesterday, that I should be gently 
trained into the habits of obedience and duties 
of a Sister, specially in the hospital, then by 
degrees given a higher position ; in spring a 
visit home, an interview with Miss Nightin- 
gale, a return here, perhaps to be tried as the 
head of some department, and then, if by God's 
will and aid qualified, ready in autumn to work 
with and under Miss Nightingale. Such is 


his plan; to me it seems impossible. Under 
others, gladly would I act, but I have not the 
qualifications or self-reliance to be a head, and 
have neither age nor weight for such a position 
as he offers. The Government Nightingale 
Committee and the Evangelical party, to pro- 
vide, — the one, nurses ; the other, true faithful 
Christian deaconesses. He would hear no ob- 
jection, so all I could say was what most 
heartily I could answer, * Time, strength, and 
every talent God has given me, most gladly 
will I devote all to Him as He enables me.' 
The pastor spoke so kindly, * Here am I,' is all 
the Lord needs. The training will be invalu- 
able, but not for the sphere he thinks, that 
could never be ; perchance the Lord will favour 
me with a call to a wholly devoted but lower 
sphere in His vineyard. The only objection to 
Syria in my mind is that Ireland was ever my 
first aim. England is nearer than Syria, per- 
chance, it may after all be Ireland. The two 
requests go together in my letter to mother, 
one for months in a far country, the other for 
the devotion of a life. God help her, whose 


sacrifice will be the greatest. I could not help 
sending, i Sam i. 27, 28." 

Meanwhile her labours in the hospital con- 
tinued : — 

** My routine is now : up at 5, dress, make 
bed, sweep room, and read till 6.15, breakfast 
and prayers, go to hospital at 7, give children 
cod-liver oil and other medicines, then begins 
the washing and dressing till 8.30, children's 
luncheon, then there are several v/ho must be 
fed, mending to be done, etc., 10 to 11 English 
class, II children's dinner, and after it is over, 
and faces and hands washed, our own dinner 
comes ; then I take the children a walk till 2, 
children's coffee etc., 3.30 to 4 the ' Stille 
Stunde ' in the church, 4 medicines given, 5 
undressing and washing of children for bed, 7 
supper; some evenings I have the charge of 
the hospital till 9.30. This is the daily routine. 
Having to melt my ink and hold it in my hand 
to keep it so is not advantageous to letter- 
writing. To-day, when washing my hands, 
actually some drops which fell on the table 
were frozen before, with half-dried hands, I 


tried to wipe them up, and now I write only by 
dint of every now and then breathing on my 
penful of frozen ink, but I really do not suffer 
from the cold. Sister Caroline died yesterday 
afternoon ; indeed, it was a blessed release 
from fearful suffering from internal cancer. I 
dare say I have told you of her. She was the 
head of an institution in Frankfort, where, in 
the cholera year, she took the disease, but re- 
covered from it to have daily, or rather nightly, 
increasing pain, with which, however, she 
worked on at her post till about two months 
ago ; since she came here she has been much 
worse, and even to the last suffered fearfully, 
but her mind was so happy. There have been 
more deaths among the sisters the last six 
months than any remember. Last night we 
had the ' Monat Stunde,' that is the monthly 
meeting of sisters to hear the news from our 
outposts, extracts from letters, and the general 
outlines of work going on." 

Early in February she was placed in the 
responsible position of superintendent of the 
boys' hospital, doubtless with a view to tiain 


her in directing others, and to test whether she 
were really as deficient in governing power as 
she herself believed. It was no easy task; 
unruly children, little accustomed to control, 
and well enough to make a noise and resist 
authority, while her want of fluency in the 
language was still a source of trouble to her, 
and created many difficulties in her intercourse 
with them. She writes at this time : — 

*' Had I not too much to do, I should sit 
down and cry sometimes over the perplexities 
of my present position. As one of the head 
sisters said to me, ^ It is not as easy as one 
would think to be a superintendent.* I have 
the smallest number in my charge of any of 
the hospital departments, but I think, in many 
ways, the hardest to manage, for ruling boys is 
what I never had a talent for, and some are so 
naughty ; then my former comforter, Sister S., 
being now my head and judge, I never come 
across her without being found fault with. 
Last night I put a very naughty little boy in 
the corner, whereupon he screamed and tore at 
evervthing in the wildest manner^ and not 


knowing what to do, I put him supperless to 
bed; he began to scream, and Sister S. came 
in and blamed me for not being more firm with 
him. This morning he was again naughty, 
and the same scene was repeated ; Sister S, 
came in and sent him to an empty room, where 
he was left for two hours, and returned quite 
subdued. Sister S., however, spoke to me very 
seriously, and said she had not time to govern 
the children for me : I must not let this occur 
again. My assistant, too, tries me sorely; she 
is willing, but so slow. I feel very hopeless 
of succeeding, and fear abusing the kindness 
which has honoured me with the charge. To- 
day, when out walking, I could only keep from 
crying by running races with my boys. From 
5.30 A.M. till 7 P.M. I never leave them, and then 
sit in their sleeping-room from 8 till 10. I fear I 
offered myself thoughtlessly for a work I am 
not qualified for; however, it is well to find 
out my deficiency in time." 

" Thursday. — I am really more hopeful, for 
matters have gone on much better and I did 
not get one reproof to-day. My boys made 


and kept a resolution to improve, and I had 
no great rebellion. It is easy to contend with 
one or two, but when all unite against ' Tante 
Agnes,' as they call me, it is no easy task to 
procure peace. This morning, Sister S. told 
me it would be well for me to witness an ope- 
ration to be performed in the men's hospital. 
I went, knowing no particulars, and found it 
was the removal of a finger. The man was 
under the influence of chloroform, and after 
all was finished, the doctor was afraid the dose 
had been too strong, and had to use violent 
measures to revive him. The knowledge he 
could not suffer made me witness the whole 
thing quite calmly, but it would be dreadful 
without the chloroform. The cleaning and 
keeping my dominion in order is such a busi- 
ness. Sweeping and washing the floor of the 
three rooms every morning, tw^o stoves which 
must be black-leaded weekly, each taking an 
hour, weekly cleaning of windows, tins, dinner 
chest, washing of bandages, etc., besides the 
washing up after each of our five meals, — 
keeps one busy. I am beginning to feel quite a 


motherly love for my boys, and they improve 

'' Sunday. — With a thankful heart, indeed, 
did I go to church to-day, for it was light and 
joyous compared to that of last Sunday. I 
have got on wonderfully, and can only thank 
God and take courage, for my own strength 
was and is powerless. What a blessing could 
I be indeed the teacher and guide of these little 
ones ! Yesterday, we sent home a child cured 
after two years' stay here : he was a trouble- 
some fellow, and yet I was sorry to see him 
go from the advantages he has had here; he 
has no mother, and will, I am sure, feel the 
change. My poor little Otto is very ill, and 
besides his poor back and numerous sores, he 
has a racking cough, which makes him scream 
dreadfully ; he will let no one touch him but 
me, and between dressing his sores and rub- 
bing his poor chest it is an almost endless 
business. I was so amused to-day at Pastor S. 
He came into the room as my boys and I were 
going to dinner. He speaks English well, and, 
having been tutor in an English family, knows 


the customs in England. Now I am so accus- 
tomed to my way of living, it never costs me a 
thought ; but a soup plate of vegetables with a 
bit of meat on the top, sent up with the chil- 
dren's porringers^ and set on a cloth which, 
with all my efforts, I cannot keep clean even two 
days, much less seven, is certainly rather a 
contrast to mother's dinner-table. * Do you 
eat here V asked the pastor. * Yes, always 
with my boys.' — ^ It must be a great self-denial 
for you ; your habits are so different ?' — * Oh, 
I never was better or happier.' — * Well,' said 
he, ' I trust it is you are one with Christ,' and 
so he took his leave. He had just been with 
my Otto ; he was pleased with his visit, and 
says we must not expect too much from a child. 
I trust he is right, but it pains me to see the 
clinging to life. To-day, the doctor's order was 
to put the poor little chilly creature into a 
room without fire, and all the windows open, 
and alone, as it would be too cold for other 
patients. I can't understand the reason ; poor 
child, he clings so to me, I hope I may be with 
him till he dies. A new boy was brought to 



me yesterday by such a nice mother, I quite 
fell in love with her ; with every new-comer I 
feel as I should about sending a child to school, 
dread of the evil influence of companions pre- 
dominating over the means of good. I now 
generally take a turn in the starlight on my 
way to my room when I leave the hospital at 
night, and the same heavenly lights seen at 
Fahan bring happy thoughts of both the 
earthly and eternal homes, and often tears of 
joy and thankfulness for my happy life and 
many blessings. The Kaiserswerth Scripture 
Calendar, compiled by the pastor, is a very 
good one. I must send you a copy. It gives 
a morning and evening portion, the mid-day 
Psalm, and the day's text. Monday's was 
,Jyuke xxii. 24-30 compared with John xiii. 
2-20. ' I am among you as he that serveth ' 
seemed to come to me in a new light. Gh, to 
follow His footsteps more truly^ not only in 
the outward but in the inward and spiritual 
sense of the words. I often wonder, will there 
ever be deaconesses in England. I cannot 
however, imagine the amalgamation of ranks 


and duties there being carried out as it is here. 
It would be difficult to draw the line, and yet 
I often cannot but regret that so much of the 
sisters' time is taken up with the most menial 
occupations, so that the ' Stille Stunde/ two 
or three times a week, is the only time for 
quiet reading and prayer during the day. 

^* On Saturday at 10.30 came a telegraphic 
message from Berlin, announcing the death 
of the head sister there. We had a funeral 
sermon yesterday, closed by a thanksgiving to 
Him Who gave her all her talents, and allowed 
her to use them eighteen years in His service. 
When I hear of the death of a Christian, those 
lines come so vividty before me, ' And make 
the walls of heaven still ring with my new-born 
melody.' I suppose the song of thanksgiving 
never loses its freshness in heaven, and though 
as one learns more of the love which has led 
us through life, as many of life's mysteries are 
more and more seen to have been ordered by 
Omniscient wisdom and love, the song may 
have its deeper notes, still I think the first 
burst of thanksgiving when a ransomed sinner 

N 2 


finds herself in heaven must be such an out- 
burst of joy." 

\ " Monday. — I wonder if I could ever get used 
to living in a tow^n ; the sight of a lovely rose- 
tinted sky these last few evenings was so tanta- 
lizing, seen over tiled roofs, it made me long 
for one of my ow^n Fahan sunsets; the eye 
desires a sight of home beauties, as the heart 
does its voices and love. Spring seems to have 
come, with soft mild air and bright sunshine ; 
at night I often think, perhaps to-morrow I 
shall find some hedges bursting into leaf, or 
see some other sign of spring, but with day- 
light the remembrance comes that the only 
kind of tree or hedge here are those weary 
straight poplars. It is well one's pleasures are 
not only of the eye and outward things.*' 

^^ April 8th. — It is a solemn time, as, in the 
hush of night, with the smell of death so strong 
in the room that it is almost unbearable even 
with open windows, I keep watch by Otto, who 
has now been twenty-four hours in the last 
agony ; now the unconscious screaming of many 
hours is over, but there is still the working with 


clenched hands, the grinding of teetli, and at 
times the death rattle. Oh, I feel so thank- 
ful no poor mother has had last night's and 
to-day's watch ; it would have been agony to 
her, though we quite believe him to have been 
unconscious since one o'clock last night. But 
it teaches one something of the depth of Psalm 
xxiii. 4, ' Thou art with me.' That can truly 
be the only comfort in such a time. This night 
will end my Otto's life as it ends my super- 
intendence of the boys, for I am to go to- 
morrow as helper in the women's hospital. 
This is a quiet, solemn time to review my two 
happy months with my boys. May the cru- 
cified and risen Saviour cleanse me from the 
guilt of the past, and give me power for the 
future. Every night I used to pray with Otto 
after they were all in bed, and he used to put 
his poor little arm round my neck as I knelt 
beside him, but last night he said of himself, 
* I will only now pray that Jesus may take me 
to heaven, and that I may soon die,' and as I 
had put my face near him to hear, he said, 
' Lay your cheek on mine, it does me so much 
good.' " 


*^ April loth. — I am now at home in my new 
station. I have the entire care of four women, 
also of the medicines of the twenty-four in the 
ward. My own special charge have sore legs, 
which must be hourly attended to, beds made 
twice a day, rooms cleaned, etc.; then, as far 
as I can, I help with the other patients. I 
have such delight in the women, reading to 
them is like reading to m_y poor at home." 

^^ April 22nd. — No deaconess has the per- 
plexities of choosing her ow^n position, or de- 
ciding on her own movements ; unfortunately, 
I am not so pleasantly situated. But you must 
have the history of my difficulty or you will not 
understand the sequel. Saturday's post brought 
me a letter from Mrs. Ranyard, which roused 
many conflicting feelings. First, an invitation 
to be in Hunter Street on the 27th, to be in 
time for the Bible Society Meeting on the ist 
May. Then she says, ' A friend is building a 
house for me in St. Giles's, a dormitory for 
fifty girls, besides our rescue home. Your 
mother would sooner see you settle in London 
to help me in the great work of Bible women, 


etc., than that you should go to Syria.' She 
then proposes that I should come to her to 
supply a want of some one who can devote 
time to visiting and inspecting the various mis- 
sions, and assist in the choice and training of 
the Bible w^omen, besides managing and es- 
tablishing these homes. The proposal seems 
perfect in eveiy way, and I only felt not good 
enough for the work ; besides, to leave this so 
soon, not to return, is a trial. I was pre- 
vented by my duties, going to speak to the 
pastor on the subject, and meanwhile, a large 
ktter was handed me from Mr. — , enclosing a 
plan for a proposed home for nurses. He writes 
to ask if I will go to the St. John's Home 
training-hospital, to be prepared by Miss Jones 
there, for two or three months, and then take 
the superintendence of this nurses' home, which 

is to be connected with the infirmary in . 

Most patiently and kindly did the pastor give 
me a whole hour and much valuable advice. 
He says he would in no way influence my 
choice ; according to a German proverb, ' One's 
own heart and one's God are the best coun*' 


sellers/ At the same time, he feels the work 
Mr. — proposes might be a centre from which 
boundless good would radiate, if it be really 
made a training-school for Christians, as well 
as nurses ; that to introduce the true and all- 
important element might be my work, and so 
if God give grace, I might be the heart, even 
if after training I cannot be fitted to be the 
head of the work. He advises me to go to 
London for the May meetings ; I shall then 
have the opportunity of meeting many people, 
and hear the views taken respecting such work. 
What am I to say, when such work is before 
me ? Sometimes I think the question may 
well be asked of me, ' With whom hast thou 
left those few sheep in the wilderness ? In 
the pride of thy heart thou aspirest to greater 
work, thou, who wast not found faithful in that 
which was least/ And yet when I look back 
and see how I have been led from step to step 
hitherto in a way I could never have imagined, 
I can only say to God, ^ I bring a willing mind, 
and if, with all my shortcomings. Thou callest 
me, herp am I, only do Thou touch my lips 


with a coal from Thy altar,' With a heavy 
heart I shall leave what has for seven months 
been such a happy home, to go again among 
strangers, but as here I could say, I am not 
alone, so there will He be with us." 

Agnes had reason to fear that many of the 
gentlemen connected with the plan proposed to 
her by Mr. — were Unitarians, and her reply 
to his letter shows her determination not to 
join any scheme of benevolence in which she 
could not have freedom to tell perishing sin- 
ners of the only way of salvation, . 

" Kaiserswerth, -^/>nZ, 1861. 

^' Dear Sir, — In reply to your letter of the 
15th I would say, that before entering into any 

connection with the training-school and 

home for nurses, I must know something more 
respecting its basis. You sent me the ground 
plan of the building, but I would ask, is its 
foundation and corner-stone to be Christ and 
Him crucified, the only Saviour ? Is the Chris- 
tian training of the nurses to be the primary, 
and hospital skill the secondary object ? I ask 


not that all should be of one Christian deno- 
mination, but what I do ask is that Jesus, the 
God-man, and His finished work of salvation 
for all who believe on Him, should be the basis, 
and the Bible the book of the institution. If 
this be your end and aim, then will I gladly 
pass through any course of training to be fitted 
to help in your work, even though it be in a far 
lower position than that which you propose. 
You must be prepared to find me as yet quite 
untrained, but willing hands and a heart to 
work for the Lord as He enables, I trust I can 
offer. If you still think we may at least try to 
work together, perhaps a personal interview 
would be advisable. I expect (God willing) to 
be in London about May ist, and shall see 
Miss Nightingale and Miss Jones (of St. John's 
hospital), but, as I said before, I shall not em- 
bark in any work whose great aim is not obe- 
dience to the command, * Preach the Gospel to 
every creature.' 

** Believe me to remain, yours truly, 

''Agnes E, Jones/' 


" Maltnes, Friday^ 6 a.m. 

** My own darling Mother, — While wait- 
ing for the train to Antwerp, from whence we 
hope to sail to-day at i, I must try to note 
down a few of the sad but sweet remembrances 
of yesterday. I really knew not how I loved 
and was loved till the parting came. Sister 
Sophie comforted me with the words of some 
German writer, * Those who love in the Lord 
never see each other for the last time.' If I 
could tell you of half her love and kindness ! 
She was indeed my * Mutter Schwester,' and 
when I thanked her for all her loving care, 
* Oh,' said she, ' your affection and gratitude 
almost make me ashamed.' She shamed me 
by her thanks for what she called my confi- 
dence and obedience. The pastor, too, begged 
me to write, and promises help and advice 
whenever I need it. Had I gained nothing but 
this, it would be much ; for the counsel of such 
a man, with all his experience and large-heart- 
edness, single aim for God's glory, and simple 
childlike faith, one feels is the highest wisdom. 
He is liberal in his views, but as he said when 


I was speaking of the Broad Church party, 
' One must not be so broad as to forget there 
is but the narrow way to heaven.' 

'' The future is as yet all uncertain ; I feel 
the way must be made very plain for me. Mrs. 
Ranyard's proposal is most attractive, and 
would be a good training for w^ork ; still, as 
my leaning to it may arise from its being a 
comparatively easy call, I shall wait till the 
other way is closed before I look at all the at- 
tractiveness of this. Still, I do love hospital 
work, and feel it is a position of boundless use- 
fulness to train nurses.'' 

Thus ended Agnes's personal connection with 
Kaiserswerth ; from the first day of her arrival 
there, she had thrown herself completely into 
the routine of the place, submitting herself to 
its discipline, and taking up whatever work the 
pastor appointed for her. Sometimes it did 
seem a waste of power when she was obliged 
to spend so much time each day cleaning 
lamps and stoves, sweeping floors, and doing 
other rough work, which sadly tried her de- 
licate hands ; of this we only heard when she 


was lamenting her uselessness in the hospital 
for some time, as she had to keep her hands 
poulticed and bandaged from the injury they 
had received. At the same time, we must 
remember that much of this was voluntary 
work, which she chose to do rather than leave 
it to the deaconesses, as well-born and as de- 
licately nurtured as she had been, in whose 
daily routine such offices were included. Im- 
plicit obedience was one of Pastor Fliedner's 
imperative requirements ; and Agnes often said 
she owed much to her training in this respect 
at Kaiserswerth. Her greatest pleasure was, 
however, in the hospitals, and there she became 
daily more convinced that nursing-work was 
her vocation. For years she had delighted in 
visiting and tending the sick in the neighbour- 
hood of her country home, but now she felt 
within herself powers which had not before 
been called into action. One day, soon after 
she went to Kaiserswerth, she was in the 
children's hospital when the doctor arrived to 
perform an operation on a baby for a hare lip. 
The sister from some cause was absent, and 


the deaconess in charge turned pale when asked 
to hold the child. Agnes came forward, *' May 
I take him ?" The doctor looked at her and 
said, *^ No. You would faint ; you have not 
been tried, and experience is necessary in these 
cases ; a trembling hand or a momentary faint- 
ness might be most injurious to the child." 
But Agnes still asked, *' Do try me; there is 
•no one else.'* Perhaps the doctor saw the 
firmness in her calm brow and steady eye, for 
he allowed her to take the child. She never 
wavered while a firm grasp of the little suf- 
ferer was necessary, but when he was laid 
in his crib and she got away to her room, she 
indulged in a good cry, yet felt, as she wrote 
to us, very much pleased at the discovery of 
her nerve. After this, she was tried again 
and again, and always with the same result ; 
it seemed strange that with her peculiarly 
-tender, sensitive, and sympathizing nature, 
she could bear thus to witness suftering, but 
God had given her the power so to realize the 
ultimate good that she was nerved for the 
preliminary trial, and many were the cases, 


during the next few years, when her presence 
and strengthening words soothed the hour of 
mortal agony. But in all the occupation and 
numerous calls on sympathy and interest, her 
home and her poor at Fahan were never for- 
gotten ; every letter is full of messages to the cot- 
tages where so much of her time had been spent ; 
none were forgotten, and we were continually re- 
minded by her that such a one should have blan- 
kets, another warm clothing, another nourishing 
food. It was very painful to her to think that 
they would not understand her leaving them, and 
that it must seem to them like forgetfulness or 
caprice ; but truly she sought first the kingdom 
of God and His righteousness ; and where she 
believed He willed her to go, there she went 
without a murmur. 




■* There are in this loud, stunning tide 

Of human care and crime, 
With whom the melodies abide, 

Of the everlasting chime ; 
Who carry music in their heart 
Through dusky lane and wrangling mart, 
Plying their daily task with busier feet, 
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.** 

\ T 7E must now go back to the summer 
^ ^ of 1859, when my sister and I went to 
London with our only brother, who was to 
sail thence to Australia. After his departure, 
while remaining a short time in town to visit 
some of the ragged schools, homes, and refor- 
matories in which we were interested, a friend 
kindly introduced us to Mrs. Ranyard, the 
editor of the ' Book and its Missions.' As we 
entered the pleasant drawing-room in Hunter 
Street, at the close of a sultry July day, won- 

LONDON. 193 

dering at the cool fragrance which pervaded 
it, and admiring the lovely flowers and delicate 
ferns which seemed to take one far into the 
country, while the constant roll of wheels told 
us we were close to the great thoroughfares of 
the metropolis, and as we sat and talked with 
our kind host and hostess, and heard the de- 
tails of the wonderful transformation which 
the Bible women were effecting in the dark 
lanes and alleys of London, we little thought 
of the link that was even then being riveted 
between us all, and that before long, one 
of those eager listeners was to be working in 
the same great field of labour. The revival 
movement that summer, in the north of Ireland, 
attracted the attention of many English Chris- 
tians, and when in the autumn, rest was de- 
clared necessary for Mrs. Ranyard, she pro- 
posed visiting the places where God's blessing 
seemed to be so richly poured forth. She paid 
us a short but very happy visit at Fahan, and 
Agnes afterwards joined her for some days at 
Portrush. Mrs. R.'s two young daughters, 
full of life and joyous brightness, with all the 


194 LONDON. 

fair promise which delights a parent's heart, 
were with her ; a few months later, the elder, 
a sweet and most attractive creature, was taken 
up to the better land, where God gathers in 
His loveliest flowers. The pressure of a work 
which could not be laid aside, even when grief 
for such a loss needed quiet and repose, seemed 
almost more than human strength could bear ; 
and in the letter Mrs. Ranyard wrote to my 
sister, offering her work in London if she 
could come there from Kaiserswerth, she still 
further urged the proposal by saying she really 
wanted help in this time of sorrow and de- 

My mother and I arranged to meet Agnes in 
London, but circumstances delayed our journey, 
and she had been three weeks in Hunter Street 
before we arrived. Never did her sweet face 
* look brighter or happier than when she greeted 
us that day, after our eight months' separation ; 
she was already fully engaged in the Bible 
mission, and, for a time, the thought of hos- 
pital work was laid aside. This was chiefly 
from my mother's strong objection to her 

LONDON. 105 

undertaking any course of training which 
would involve residence in a hospital. It was, 
indeed, a trying request for a mother's heart, 
to give up her eldest child, one who had ever 
been the delight and gladness of her home, 
to a life-work which must separate her com- 
pletely from her family, and doom her to spend 
her days among the saddest scenes of suffering 
which darken the face of this bright earth. 
When God's voice speaks directly to us, and 
asks for the return of the blessing He has 
lent, we can say, with bitter tears and break- 
ing heart-strings, ^' Even so, Father, for so it 
seemeth good in thy sight;" but when God 
speaks indirectly through circumstances, de- 
priving us of our treasures, it seems impos- 
sible not to resist, and to question whether 
it be indeed God's voice that calls us to such 
a surrender. And so it was now ; but that 
heavenly Father Who knows the deep tender* 
ness of a mother's heart, and all that this 
sacrifice involved, sent a reprieve, and in loving 
mercy laid on the burden gradually, which 
would have been too crushing had the whole 

o 2 

196 LONDON. 

weight been felt at first. An extract from 
one of Agnes's letters, written at this time, 
may be given to show her feeling on the sub- 
ject : — 

*' My want, as far as I yet know myself, 
arises from a deficiency of directing and super- 
intending power, and I do feel this is one 
of the great requisites for any work. Whether 
I may have the faculty yet dormant remains to 
be proved, as yet I am more conscious of the 
want than of its possession. The solution of 
this question seems to me to be indispens- 
able before I ought to embark in any training 
for work which would involve my becoming a 
superintendent, else I should find myself, at 
the end of a year or two, a mere nurse. 
Useful as a woman perhaps, but burying the 
talent given me in my position in society, or 
leaving me to make a new start in another 
path of usefulness. This being the case, it 
seems to me the wiser plan first of all to find 
out what my powers are ; for this opportunity 
will be afforded me in the various experiences 
in Mrs. Ranyard's work. This is not turning 

LONDON. 197 

aside from a purpose which has so long been 
mine, and though involving neutrality and 
delay, is not, I trust, losing time.'' 

To another friend she writes about the same 
date : — 

*^ I want a life-work to employ the faculties 
which God has given me : they are not many 
or great mentally, but they are His gift, and 
I desire to devote them to His service. I have 
no sympathy with the High Church party, 
and so should not enter a sisterhood, even 
were I free, which I am not, from home-ties. 
These are my first duties, but there seems now 
to be a time which I am free to spend as I like, 
— that time I want to employ, while I am 
young, in being trained for some sphere of 
usefulness, in which, if spared to maturer age, 
I may be employed. Whether I may now 
enter on a course of training for such a post 
as that which has been proposed to me in 
Liverpool, and for which there seems no course 
open, save that of entering as one of the 
Nightingale probationers, at St. Thomas's 
Hospital, for a year, or whether I seek, in the 

198 LONDON. 

practical experience of work under Mrs. Ran- 
yard, the knowledge I need, is now my diffi- 
culty. The one is preparation for future work ; 
the other is immediate entrance on it. Did I 
see my wa}^ clearly, I could delight in either 
sphere of labour, though there is no doubt 
which would be, for the present, the easier 
post ; that is not my aim, it is. How can I 
work best for God ? 

*^ Miss Nightingale kindly and plainly put 
before me the trials of association with un- 
educated though respectable women as my 
only companions during the year's training ; 
but though I fully realize what it would be, 
I feel as if I could meet it, were I called upon 
to do so. Trustfully and prayerfully have I 
left it in the hands of my heavenly Father, 
and if He incline not my mother's heart to 
allow of my going to St. Thomas's, I shall 
thank Him that He has provided me with 
another field of labour." 

As my mother could not bring herself to 
consent to the hospital training, it was arranged 
that Agnes should remain with Mrs. Ranyard, 

LONDON. 199 

and after two or three weeks we returned to 
Ireland without her, feeling quite satisfied that 
with such kind and watchful friends, who cared 
for her as if she had been their own child, she 
would be perfectly happy. Very few are the 
letters or notes from which we can gather 
details of the next few months. Her time 
seems to have been chiefly occupied in prepar- 
ing the Parker Street Dormitory, which was 
opened by Lord Shaftesbury on the 5th of 
June, 1861, superintending the furnishing and 
arranging of this home for girls, and of the 
refuge in Dudley Street, holding mothers' 
meetings in one district and another where the 
lady-superintendent was absent or ill, inquiring 
into the character and references of proposed 
Bible-women, and in every way making herself 
useful to Mrs. Ranyard. 

One of her first letters after our departure 
from London is as follows: — 

'' My own Darling, — I seem to miss you 
more and more every day ; even the peeps at 
you, and feeling you near, were more of com- 
fort than I knew when I was murmuring at not 


being oftener with you. I hope you are en* 
joying those lovely green fields and hedges and 
trees and the peep of the church from your 
bedroom-window, as I did two years ago when 
staying at Highfield. I never thought so much 
of the beauty of trees and flowers as now ; but 
I am happy without seeing them, and shall be 
daily more independent of their enjoyment 
when in full work. I do so look forward to 
beginning my dormitory Bible class on Sunday. 
Think of me from 2.30 to 3.30. It is like 
Fahan work again. I trust I may be taught 
to teach. Yesterday I went with Mr. R. to 
see two lifelong sufferers who yet rejoice in the 
Lord. The first, Betty Jones, whose fall down- 
stairs thirty-two years ago, caused not only 
such injury to the brain that sound is agony, 
but brought on a large tumour in the neck, 
producing asthma ; — to prevent the suffering 
from the heat of the bed, the head and neck 
are placed in a plate. The doctors say the 
least elevation of the head would cause circula- 
tion to cease at the heart, and instant death, 
yet the whispered words in which she speaks of 

LONDON. 201 

* Blessed Jesus, in even-thing suitable/ ^ Just 
the Saviour suitable for me,' and the look and 
motion of the hand, all tell He is hers. No- 
thing ever moves her, she is so firm on the 
Rock. Drury Lane is close by, and the night 
the theatre was burned all were in alarm, 
and, for her, death seemed inevitable ; to move 
her was death, and all was in flames around, 
the air full of sparks and burning timbers, 
one piece of which entering the chimney of the 
next house, set it on fire ; ' The Lord actually 
carried it over my chimney to the next,' she 
said in heartfelt gratitude, and so in her closely- 
curtained, darkened nook, she waits the dawn 
of eternal day. Through endless streets and 
lanes we threaded our way to visit Sarah 
Bird, of whom you have read in Mrs. R.'s 
magazine, the poor creature who has but the 
use of her thumb ; she, however, seemed to me 
in luxury compared to poor Betty; she can 
read and bear light and noise, and enjoy speak- 
ing and listening, and her bright expression 
told more than the words of thankfulness 
which poured from her lips, of the peace 

202 LONDON. 

within. She, too, has her trials, but she said, 
' I am ashamed to talk of my suffering when 
I think of all Jesus suffered for me.' I am to 
go to doctor her, for the eighteen years in one 
position has caused sad bed-sores ; of all her 
body she can only move her head, but she says, 
* Is it not a blessing, though, that I can do 
that, to see those texts on my wall ? why, look 
there, Ps. xxiii. i, ' I shall not want.' Want, I 
was very near it once, but see now how rich I 
am.' What do you think of my having so 
much to say to the Rescue-House ? I never 
chose it, but it seemed put before me, and 
daily becomes more my charge. I feel as 
if in the way of duty I shall be kept from 
harm. The only thing is, I can scarcely help 
crying when I am talking or praying with 
the girls, still I do not think that harms 
them, and it does not me. They are so im- 
pressible and impulsive, but it seems over in a 

** Friday. — Fancy me, after a night of tooth- 
ache, and a day consisting of Dudley Street 
Refuge, Parker Street Dormitory, printer's 


business, investigation into complaints against 
a Bible woman, visit to the same, confronting 
her with the district clergyman, having to as- 
sert Mrs. R.'s right to manage the case, two 
hours with a dentist who made me quite com- 
fortable, industrial kitchen, etc., on my evening 
visit to Dudley Street finding a girl had run 
off, then a disappointment about meeting Lady 
M. F. I did not get home till ten o'clock, 
and then found a dozen letters to answer ; no 
wonder you must be put off with a short one 
from your loving Agnes." 

'* IVednesday, — How badly I have treated you 
lately in the letter line, but between business 
letters for Mrs. R., extracting from the Bible 
women's journals, and studying their boun- 
daries, and the locality of Bible Society's 
depots, I might have my days fully occupied 
in the house, yet I have plenty to do out of it 
besides. All yesterday afternoon was taken 
up with a reunion at the most magnificent of 
houses in Kensington Palace Gardens, then 
tea at Mrs. Bayley's, and a peep at a mothers' 
tea-party. To-day I thought, how shall \ get 

204 LONDON. 

through all my business at the houses ? And 
then at breakfast other duties were so mapped 
out for me as to leave me not a moment for 
them, and so one day's business seems rolled 
in another, while each brings its own special 
work. We are to have a great day at Wal- 
thamstow on the 31st. Tuesday we go to 
Barnet, and stay the three days of the con- 

'^ Monday. — Last night, about 9.30, Mr. R. 
came in saying, ^ There is a great fire on the 
river, will you come and see it ?* We all set 
out, and drove to three different bridges, ending 
by the one nearest to the fire — London Bridge. 
Such a sight as it was ! Eleven acres of great 
storehouses on fire, many vessels and barges, 
which being moored close to the shore, could 
not be got out from the mud, the smoke of 
every shade of colour reaching up to heaven, 
with flames now and then shooting up almost 
as high ; tongues of fire of varied hue from 
palest yellow to deepest orange, sometimes 
completely wrapping the walls of the buildings, 
hiding even their form, sometimes roaring up 

LONDON. 205 

through skeleton walls, — the roofs, one after 
another, falling in, sending up sparks, while 
beams and rafters came whirling through the 
air, often falling on some doomed vessel to 
add it to the general conflagration. Sometimes 
the smoke rolled back, and through the win- 
dows we saw the flames defining every angle 
of the ill-fated houses ; then the oil and other 
combustible substances were burning on the 
river, and one felt the mighty power of fire 
licking up even the water which should have 
extinguished it. Not only was the fire a sight, 
but the crowds of people, every face lighted 
up by the lurid glow, bringing each individual 
of those mighty masses out in strong relief. 
With all this majesty and awful grandeur 
there was also much of surpassing beauty. 
The full moon looked down in calm serenity, 
contrasting strangely with the scene below, 
and there were times and points of view when 
the buildings looked unearthly in their spectral 
beauty ; the Monument with its pillar so mel- 
lowed that it seemed almost ethereal, its mimic 
crowning flames were indeed flames in the 

206 LONDON. 

reflection which caught that point with a 
crimson bronzy glow, and then St. Paul's, and 
some nearer towers and steeples, and the 
Houses of Parliament in the distance, each in 
its own light ; the river crowded with boats 
and steamers, the bridges with dense masses of 
foot passengers, and human forms crowding 
on every available point, all gazing hopelessly, 
helplessly on. Oh, it taught such a lesson of 
man's impotency ! The play of the engines 
were but as threads of water on those mighty 
flames which seemed to revel in all the desola- 
tion they were creating. On Saturday I had a 
very interesting mothers' meeting at . . . five 
German women were there, two of whom could 
not understand English, and great was their 
delight when I recapitulated my words in 

'* Hadley Green, BARNiiT. 

" My own Darlings, — I must write you a 
few lines, as in about an hour we shall be 
again in London, leaving this place^ which I 
am sure I shall look back to in heaven as the 

LONDON. 207 

scene in which a new and most wondrous leaf 
of the Bible was turned over for me and by 
me. The notes I send of the addresses will 
show you what were the lessons learned at this 
wonderful conference. As a whole, the con- 
ference, enlarged this year from the select four 
hundred to one thousand, was not so much the 
intimate communion of saints as formerly. It 
was so interesting to hear of the many well- 
attended students' prayer meetings at Oxford, 
and the earnest spirit among the young men 
there, and other details of work in various 
places, On Tuesday the first meeting at 11 
was opened as usual by Mr. Pennefather coming 
forward on the platform, where were gathered 
all the speakers, lay and clerical, and calling 
upon all to unite in silent prayer to God for 
His presence and His Spirit's blessing ; this 
was followed by singing and prayer ; then, one 
by one, Mr. P. read various requests for prayer, 
which were so numerous that as each was read, 
there was a pause for silent prayer ; then sing- 
ing and addresses till i o'clock. We separated 
then for dinner. At 3 o'clock Mr. Denham 

2o8 LONDON. 

Smith gave a most striking address. Thurs- 
day evening a most beautiful address from Dr. 
Bonar. On Friday evening all met in the 
church for the communion, after which there 
was an address in the iron room. I can't tell 
you of half to-day. Of all the kind things 
Mrs. Ranyard has done for me, and they are 
many, none was kinder than taking me to 
Barnet. The lesson to me of the whole has 
been an opening up of the richness of the pri- 
vileges Christians may claim, and put forth 
their hands and take.'* 

*' Dudley Street, Wednesday. — To-day I 

had a long talk with in whom I am much 

interested ; herself the child of sin, she seemed 
scarcely to know right from wrong ; when in 
service, she says, her companions were very 
harmful to her, and it really seems that Mrs. 
W. was led to pass by the door- step where she 
was sleeping to bring her to a place where she 
might hear of Jesus. God grant she may be 
found of Him. She is diseased in body and 
soul. Went twice to Parker Street ; to St. 
Paul's Churchyard to buy ticking for houses. 

LONDON. 209 

Mothers' meeting in Bidboro' Strerf, only six 
present ; tried to teach them the lesson of 
John V." 

'' Dudley Street, Sunday, 25th. — Morning 
class not as well attended as I expected, but 
still encouraging; this street, with every shop 
open, made me feel, — Is no seed sown by all 
the efforts made ?" 

^'Monday. — Industrial kitchen ; Victoria docks 
mothers' tea meeting, twenty-two present. In 
evening Clerkenwell mothers' meeting, most 
interesting. I do so enjoy my work, though I 
have only time to give you the heads of it ; the 
people in Parker Street seem to prize my Sun- 
day class, and some who have gone to situations 
beg leave to come to it whenever their mis- 
tresses can spare them. I paid poor Mrs. P. 
my second visit to-day^ which she seemed to 
enjoy, but she is still greatly depressed. I am 
sure I have need to study my Bible much, 
coming across so many various cases, but the 
nore I see and hear, the more I feel it must 
be God's teaching alone that can help or 
comfort; so many are made unhappy by man 



giving a wrong place to some of God's truths. 
This week I have a proposed district nurse to 
loolc after, and a Bible-woman's German people 
to visit, besides my usual duties. I long so 
sometimes to escape the noise of London. I 
feel as if I could walk twenty miles on the 
hottest day, did it take me to some lone moun- 
tain top." 

'' Parker Street, Friday. — Spoke to — — 
alone ; she seems to feel now she knows the 
love of Jesus. Victoria docks ; visited Mrs. C*, 
not in so much pain as last visit, but weaker ; 
she says, on Friday last there came over her 
such a feeling of Jesus' love ; it was as if a 
voice told her He loved her." 

'^ August i6th. — Herr M. from Berlin called; 
spent some hours at Dudley Street, spoke to 
each separately. Visited S. Bird." 

** August igth. — Returned from a most enjoy- 
able visit to Chislehurst ; such kindness from 
all, and such intense enjoyment of views, air, 
and flowers ; I became a country girl again. 
I found many letters to answer on my re- 
turn. VJsited Dudley Street. Mrs. — gave 

LONDON. 211 

me a most affecting account of — 's interview 
with her father. His letter of forgiveness did 
not arrive till next day, so his visit was unex- 
pected. She was much moved when she heard 
of his arrival, but crept out tremblingly to meet 
him. When she came to the door of the room 
where he was, she turned aside, burjdng her 
face in her hands and saying her father could 
never bear to look at her again ; no words but 
those which describe the reception of the pro- 
digal by his father could picture that meeting. 
He fell on her neck and kissed her, and they 
and those present mingled their tears over the 
lost one found." 

*^ Augtist 28th — Went to see S. Bird ; she was 
in great suffering, but says all she needs is 
* grace to praise God more.* She told Lady M. 
she was * always cheerful because looking to the 
things beyond.' " 

In August Mrs. Ranyard went to Switzerland 
for six weeks, and Agnes took the whole charge 
of the mission during her absence, and on her 
'return Agnes wrote her the following letter as a 
sketch of her employments in the interval : — ► 

p z 

212 LONDON. 

*' Dearest Mrs. Ranyard, — The events of 
the last six weeks, though interesting as they 
daily occurred, will not form any very important 
features in a review of the time. You left us 
August 13th, and on the i6th Herr Neuhause 
called with an introduction from Mr. Moon. 
He was anxious to inquire into the Bible- 
women's work, with a view of establishing 
something of the kind in Berlin. Two ladies 
called from the country to tell of the work 
of their Bible women, but of the eight in 
Leicester and the one in the Isle of Man, 
you will read elsewhere. I have been at several 
mothers' meetings. I held those at Victoria 
docks weekly during Miss P.'s absence. Drury 
Lane, Chislehurst, Grey's Buildings, Whitecross 
Street, May Fair, Cow Cross, Dudley Street, 
Portman Market, York Road, Moor Lane, 
Coburg Row, Dove Row, and Stourbridge 
mother's meetings, I have either held or been 
present at. The question of their boundaries 
has obliged me to hold many meetings of the 
Bible women, five and six at a time. Our 
numbers in Parker Street have mounted up to 

LONDON. 213 

twenty-six, so I wrote to ask Mr. Alexander to 
send us some more beds, which he has kindly 
promised to do, also sheets, blankets, etc. He 
was much pleased at what I mentioned to him 
of the manner in which the dormitory seems 
really to become the adopted home of the in- 
mates, for not merely is it their abode during 
their time of lodging there, but they return to 
it when they leave their situations ; they re- 
commend friends to try it, and are sure to spend 
part of every holiday, if not the whole of it, 
there. They seem also to feel they have there 
a friend to advise and help them in their diffi- 
culties, and the Sunday afternoon class is 
attended by many of our former inmates. We 
have cases of those who were longing for 
spiritual instruction, as well as for respectable 
lodgings, being recommended to come to our 
matron ; one now in the house was on the verge 
of becoming a nun, to her the only conceivable 
way of finding the peace she longed for ; now 
her eyes seem to be opened to a better way, 
though she does not feel she has yet entered 
on it. 

214 LONDON. 

'* Mrs. S. (one of the Bible women) has had 
Asiatic cholera, and for many hours her life was 
despaired of, but the grief of her poor people 
during the hours of danger and suffering has 
encouraged her to hope that, having won their 
love, she may be enabled to lead them to One 
Who loves them far better than she can do. 
She has not quite shaken off the effects of her 
illness, and the deadly cold of her limbs will, 
the doctor fears, long continue, unless she be 
provided with warm under-clothing. I spent 
one most enjoyable afternoon with the West- 
minster Bible woman. At two o'clock I went 
to the Coburg Row mothers' meeting, which is 
very small, accounted for by most of the women 
being laundresses. A little school has been 
opened in the same house for destitute children, 
who are entirely kept : four only as yet, as the 
funds are low ; they seemed well-behaved, and 
sang very nicely. Our boundary meeting fol- 
lowed, and I could not resist an urgent invita- 
tion for a 7 o'clock prayer meeting ; thus 
time was afforded for conversation. One told 
how she had had doubts whether she were 

LONDON. 215 

called to the work, and had asked of the Lord 
a sign. She went to a house where the womai 
bade her go away, for they had more Bible\ 
than they could read, however, Mrs. F. obtained 
permission to see the husband, who is a sincere 
Christian; he so enjoyed her reading and pray- 
ing with him that on parting he said, ' I know 
God sent you here ; your mission is from God.' 
So she went on her way rejoicing, knowing that 
the Lord had called her indeed. There seems 
such a nice spirit among these neighbouring 
workers. They go to each other's prayer meet- 
ings, and in every way work so hand in hand ; 
it reminded me more of the deaconesses than 
anything I have seen, for there was the inde- 
pendence of individual separate action in their 
work, and yet union, because that work was for 
the one Master. I have visited Sarah Bird 
weekly, and much enjoy being wath her. One 
day she was very weak and low, but said, she 
' did not fear death ; she heard of it as a dark 
valley, but she only thought of it as lighted up 
by the presence of Him Who promised to be 
with her.' " 

2l6 LONDON. 

The rest of this paper, which is very long, is 
taken up with accounts of special branches of 
the mission, interesting indeed, but too detailed 
to be inserted here. An account of the Bible- 
women's day at Walthamstow is, however, too 
graphic to be omitted : — 

'^ Come with me to the bedside of the cripple 
of London Wall, and you will hear her earnest 
desire that to-morrow may be fine that the 
Bible women may enjoy their day in the coun- 
try. And now that that day has come and 
gone, you, as well as she, may like to know 
something of it. In three different parts of 
London, at lo o'clock on the morning of July 
31st, there might have been seen large vans 
receiving their passengers. And did you inquire 
who were those neatly dressed, pleasant look- 
ing women, you would have been answered, 
* These are the 160 Bible women who are goine; 
to enjoy the yearly treat, to which they all look 
forward with pleasure.' An hour or two later, 
and far away from the roar and din of the 
mighty city, you would find ten vans setting 
down that same party at the door of a country 


house in Essex. And then, by carriage or by 
omnibus, would come those to whom the Bible 
women are very closely knit by ties which are felt 
but cannot be explained. Watch them a little 
and see the meeting between the Bible woman 
andherlady-superintendentjOrlistentothe tones 
of regret in which the one assigns a reason for 
the absence of the other, and you will feel how 
the pleasures of the day are doubled by being 
shared. Now let us try to recall the scene — a 
contrast, indeed, to that left but a few hours 
before. Soft grass beneath the feet, and lovely 
flowers and trees around, and God's bright sky 
above, and the glorious sun shining as it only 
seems to shine in the country, and the air so 
pure and clear that you seem to realize in the 
gladness of your heart a fresh feeling of the 
goodness of Him of Whom you can say, * My 
Father made them all.' And if you join the 
scattered groups, you hear nothing discordant 
with the feelings of the moment ; but how He 
Who made all these bright flowers and trees, 
those playful rabbits and fair children, is not 
God alone of the country but also of the town. 

2l8 LONDON. 

'' The bell has rung ; let us follow the women 
into that large tent and see how bounteous a 
provision has been made for their refreshment. 
Nor are the women there alone ; the ladies, as 
well as their host and hostess, are caring that 
each should be provided for according to her 
taste. Now they have sung a hymn and dis- 
persed through the grounds ; we shall join 
some of them and hear some sad tales. Oh, if 
we were to tell of the night that one spent 
seeking a little girl who had left her home, 
what revelations were made to eye and ear of 
the wickedness, not only of men and women, 
but also of children. But is not the day too 
lovely so to mar its brightness ? we would rather 
tell the other side. Here is one who speaks of 
the sick-bed she has lately left ; on it lies a 
woman gasping for breath, the unnatural 
sharpening of the nose telling her end is near ; 
beside her, a little one sick too, but sleeping 
now. She tells of such a revelation of Jesus' 
love to her, as vivid as a voice telling her He 
loved her. Once before she heard that voice. 
Months ago she was outside her door ; a pious 
neighbour heard her cough, and warned her 

lONDON. 2ig 

that soon perhaps she would lie sick unto 
death, and then how would it be with her soul ? 
She would not listen, but the "words stuck to 
her. The neighbour came to pray with her, 
and one night the never-forgotten question was 
answered. She w^as rising from her bed to 
pray, and, as it were beside her, she heard a 
voice saying to her, ^ Thy sins are forgiven 
thee.' How gladly thenceforth she came to the 
mothers' meetings, from which she was never 
absent w^hen it was possible to attend. Then 
listen to this death-bed scene ; there is one in 
great bodily suffering, yet enjoying the peace 
which passeth all understanding. A week since 
the Bible woman left her, apparently careless, 
but with her sickness, the Spirit brought to her 
remembrance words heard long since in that 
now to her ' blessed mission room.' You hear 
of infidels converted, by God's blessing, on the 
reading of His Word brought to their doors by 
these women, and of scenes such as this : * One 
day I opened a door to see^ as I thought, a 
corpse on the bed before me ; horror struck, I 
closed it on that chamber of death, but felt, as 

220 LONDON. 

it were, forced into the room and down on my 
knees beside that bed. I prayed, and the eyes 
of the seeming corpse opened. * Who are you ? 
Who sent you here with thosp words for me V 
Oh, it was because Christ would have that soul 
with Him for ever, for she was only spared to 
hear from Him, * To-day shalt thou be with 
me in paradise.' 

^' Here is a woman from a country district, 
and but a partial description can be given of one 
house she entered : five motherless children, 
with a bad father, left all but naked ; a boy of 
fourteen with only a ragged pair of trousers, 
into one leg of which an arm was thrust ; a girl 
but a year younger and three other children in 
a similar plight ; now clothed and cared for, 
they go to school, and the boy is in employment. 
Shall not these things come up in remembrance 
before the King of Kings ? All is not bright in 
the Bible-woman's path, however; many are 
her discouragements, but her work is with the 
Lord, and her reward with her God, even 
though she should be called to lie, as one now 
does, in all the agony of cholera, brought on by 

LONDON. 221 

the malaria caused by the late great fire in her 
neighbourhood. The pleasant day is near its 
close, and again all are gathered in the tent, 
and after tea addresses are given ; a faithful 
word in season, urging them to search and see 
first that their own hearts are right with God, 
to examine whether they can tell to dying 
sinners of a Saviour they have found, and im- 
pressing on them the importance of themselves 
drinking deeply of the well of life, searching 
their Bibles and holding communion with 
heaven, drawing thence each day's and hour's 
supplies, and so maintaining personal holiness, 
as by their life and conduct to be seen as living 
epistles^ ' known and read of all men.' And 
then they separate, having had this word of 
God given them as their motto in the work to 
which, with new vigour, they hope to return, 
Col. iii. 23, 24." 

Early in October, Agnes came home for a 
short visit, and most warmly was she welcomed 
by her poor people at Fahan, who had often 
asked reproachfully had she forgotten them, 
and was she never coming back. It was hard 

222 LONDON. 

to tell them that this was only a visit, and that 
the sunshine of her frequent presence was no 
longer to brighten their cottage homes. On 
her journey home she wrote to my mother : — 

*^ Indeed, darling, this must be but a visit. 
If it were to have been otherwise, I believe 
God would have given me those to whom to 
hand over my work before leaving it ; such, 
however, with all my endeavours, was not the 
case, and till my way is made clear thus to give 
it up, I must keep on. I love it more than I 
could have imagined, and neither did I believe 
I was so loved by my fellow-workers as this 
parting has proved ; therefore, in many ways I 
shall return more sure of my position, and 
having it brightened by the consciousness of 
affection. Unless you absolutely withhold your 
consent, I hope certainly to return, and I feel I 
must try, when at home, to keep myself freer 
than before from the all-engrossing interests 
which are still to me as great as before I left 
home, and which I dread again to break. I 
almost fear to return to my poor, lest it should 
make me doubt what my next step ought to be 

LONDON. 223 

— whether to remain at Fahan or return to 

This feeling, and the intense love she bore 
everything at Fahan, made this visit one of 
very mingled feelings to her. At first the en- 
joyment of the pure country air, the mountain 
walks, and all the sights and sounds of home 
seemed perfect ; but as, day after day, the time 
drew nearer for her departure, one could see 
the struggle in her mind, though there was 
Tio doubt as to where the path of duty lay. We 
fet her go the less grudgingly this time, because 
we had settled to spend the ensuing winter in 
Italy, and hoped to see her in London in a few 
weeks, deluding ourselves with a faint hope 
that she might be persuaded to accompany us. 
From Dublin, where she spent a few days on 
her return journey, she wrote : — 

'^ I must write a few lines, to tell you of my 
exceeding enjoyment in renewing old and valu- 
able friendships. I paid Mr. Hare a visit in 
his study; a heavy cold had prevented him 
preaching, but he said a few words on ' Fellow- 
ship with Jesus.' This, he says, is not as we 

^24 LONDON. 

fancy, a kind of ecstatic state, but, even if we 
have known this, it is more real perhaps when, 
overwhelmed with care or sorrow, we find the 
promise fulfilled, ' My grace is sufficient for 
thee.' On Sunday I went to Trinity Church 
again, where Mr. Gregg preached on the 
twenty-second anniversary of its opening. 
Afterwards I went to Lurgan Street Ragged 
School, where I was very kindly received, and 
found many changes and improvements, plenty 
of teachers and room ; but Lurgan Street has 
a fascination to me from old memories. I think 
I never enjoyed anything more than teaching 
there eleven years ago." 

When we arrived in London, early in De- 
cember, we found her looking thin and ill, and 
she confessed that she had been suffering from 
a wearying pain in the brow, and had consulted 
Dr. Kidd about it. His remedies gave her 
temporary relief, but it was evident she was 
not strong or well, and we urged on her very 
strongly that accompanying us to Italy would 
De the best cure. This seemed to her like 
abandoning her post, and she could not be 

LONDON. 225 

persuaded to think of it. Ten days later, at 
Genoa, we found a letter from her, saying that 
she had been so ill that Dr. Kidd had ordered 
her change of air : — 

" Mrs. R. insisted on my going to see Dr. K. 
this morning, as I was in agony with a new 
pain in the head and brain, worse than ever to< 
day. He says all comes from w^eakness ; that 
I am not as strong as I look, that I must have 
change of air, so I have wTitten to ask Mr. 
and Mrs. F. if I may go to them, at Highfield, 
for a few days.'* 

The rest and country quiet of our dear 
friends' lovely rectory had a marvellous effect, 
and a short visit sufficed to recruit her 
strength. She had felt much depriving Mrs, 
Ranyard of her help in that peculiarly busy 
month of December, and was anxious to re- 
turn as soon as possible to her duties. They 
were soon to be once more interrupted, and 
this time not to be again resumed. The 
graphic and loving pen which bore affectionate 
testimony to her life-w^ork in the April number 
(1868) of the ' Missing Link Magazine,' must 


226 LONDON. 

here tell the story of that unexpected break : — 
**The record of her visits was scarcely com- 
pleted on New Year's Eve, when the postman's 
knock, which conveys to some hearts, with 
every hour, the burden of grief and pain, 
brought news to Hunter Street, which had 
been six days on the road, from Italy ; news 
of sickness and dear relative claims, which 
might sever this true helper from our mis- 
sion, and make these the last of her London 
visits. Her dear sister lay ill of fever at Rome. 
Ten minutes afterwards followed the telegram, 
which had been only six hours on the road. 
* We wish you to come to us at once.' And 
we had to learn to do without one who had 
seemed given of God to especial need, and who 
was endowed with a gift of such special fitness 
as is very rarely equalled." 

That personal courage was one of Agnes*s 
characteristics will be doubted by none who 
have read the account of her journey from Co- 
logne to Kaiserswerth in a snowstorm. On 
that occasion, to fulfil her promise of being 
present at the midnight service, she braved- 

LONDON. 227 

the perils of the way, and now she starts alone 
on a far more distant journey, anxiety pressing 
on her heart, and fear darkening the future. To 
my aunt she gives the history of the journey 
as follows : — 

*'CiviTA Vecchia, Monday. 

** Dearest Aunt, — Here I am for the night, 
unable to get on, when every hour is of im- 
portance ; one almost asks, ' Why is delay per- 
mitted V And yet all is ordered, and ordered 
for the best. Perchance that loving Father, 
knowing what I fear is before me, saw that I 
needed a quiet night to strengthen me. But 
I must tell you all the past, for I dare not, will 
not, think of the future. On Wednesday even- 
ing, Mrs. R. and I had not long returned from 
the Scripture dissolving- views for St. Giles's, 
when I received mamma's letter. She had 
said in her first, J. was poorly, and this sent 
a pang through me ; not an hour after came 
the telegram ; this was about ten at night. I 
flew in next door for ^ Bradshavv^,' but soon re- 
membered that the next night was the soonest I 
could get off, on account of the passport ; also, 


228 LONDON. 

that that would be time enough to catch the 
Saturday boat ; then one must wait, and wait 
calmly, too, and I made up my mind I would 
go at once to bed and sleep, and not think ; so 
I asked of God the refreshing sleep which He 
gave. Of course there was much mission bu- 
siness I must leave settled ; it was due to Mrs. 
R., who was really placed in a most difficult 
position by my sudden departure ; no words can 
tell all the kindness and sympathy shown me 
by them all ; so I went before breakfast to give 
directions to H., then dear Mrs. R. would 
come with me to Mr. Kinnaird, whose order 
got me a passport at once, then to Dr. Kidd, 
who gave me directions what to do, and said, 
that I am now equal to the journey, and it 
may, with God's blessing, add to me years of 
health, so God out of evil brings good to His 
own. I had accounts to settle, bid all good- 
byes, buy some necessaries, and be back for 
dinner at 2, then packing with many interrup- 
tions ; at 6 I was ready, and then we had tea, 
and Mrs. R. came in to muffle me, and we 
had our last prayer together. Mr. R. took me 

LONDON. 229 

to the train; at 8.30 1 began the journey, and 
reached Paris at 8 next morning. I had an old 
lady and her companion in the carriage; be- 
fore reaching Paris, she found out my connec- 
tion with the ' Book and its Mission/ and I 
found her a very dear Christian ; we all knelt 
together in the carriage, so prayer was in- 
deed made for me. The next few hours were 
very busy ones ; alone, I went from consul to 
nuncio, and thence to the prefect of police, to 
have my passport in order, and then to the 
top of the Champs Elysees, to see Mrs. R.'s 
friend. I had seen her before ; she was very 
kind, fed me well, and saw me off at night. 
From 8.30 till near 4 n^xt afternoon to Mar- 
seilles. Thence I telegraphed to mother ; and 
supposing our boat went as 'isual to Genoa 
and Leghorn, I asked for an answei. Then to 
an hotel, bathed, and had a solid tea, and on 
board the steamer at 9 o'clock. Fancy, first a 
long wait at the bureau, then drive in an om- 
nibus, then a little boat, and ascent to 'he 
ship's side, all by the light of a little lantern. 
i was the only lady, and met with no French 

250 LONDON. 

politeness; my only companions were two 
soldiers, and a very common English groom. 
Fortunately I had my respirator, and all my 
cloaks on ; the cold was bitter. On board, my 
passport and ticket were well examined, I was 
shown by the captain to my cabin, and he 
taught the new stewardess how to make my 
bed, etc. The storm was tremendous, and we 
could not leave the harbour that night, nor 
till 10 next day, and then mid waves moun- 
tains high, constantly washing over the decks ; 
the cabin was close, so I had had coffee 
early, and came up before 8. I had a shel- 
tered nook, and waterproof on, so I never left 
the deck till dark, and had my meals brought 
to me; such a kind captain, and Ua donna' 
was treated like a queen. The storm raged 
so, they feared they should have to shelter for 
the night, but God heard my prayer, and we 
went on. Such a night; often I was nearly 
out on the floor, but the morning calmed, and 
the greater part of to-day has been pleasant, 
except two hours of tremendous rain ; such cold, 
all the hills white with hail. Of course I was 

LONDON. 231 

anxious to catch the last train, but we could 
not land till the passports went on shore, and 
permission came, and then off in a little boat, 
and a second passport examination before land- 
ing, and then custom-house, and so the last 
train, at 2.30, had started before we arrived. I 
would have paid any sum to get on, but be- 
tween what I heard of robbers and what I 
saw of Italians, I felt the carriage scheme 
must be given up, besides I did not feel it 
right to arrive at one in the morning, and 
arouse poor mother, or maidenly to take the 
groom as companion and protector, so it seemed 
best to trust to God bringing me in His own 
good time, as I hope to reach Rome about ten 
to-morrow. I have had tea, and paid my bill, 
as I am to leave the hotel at 5.30, and now 
am not really so very weary, nor so very un- 
happy, I have looked all in the face from the 
first moment, so I trust He will strengthen me 
to support her who is my only one perhaps 
now. It is best not to think of the past. I 
will only say of the journeys past, God has 
very specially been with me, and I have been 

2%2 LONDON. 

strong through all, both mind and body. I 
never felt better^ but for a little time this last 
delay was a bitter drop ; perhaps it made me 
feel I was not so strong to meet mamma as 
I hope to be after the night's rest, as I have 
had no bed for four nights now. 

^' Rome, Tuesday. — You will hear from 
mamma how I arrived, and found God had 
indeed been better to me than my fears. The 
night was not an easy one ; do what I would, 
dreadful visions came, and then half-hourly 
bells at the gate-house opposite roused me. 
At half-past five such a walk to the station, 
over a new half-made road, almost in total 
darkness, and such a bitter wind, but every 
thought was to get off; it seem.ed so long, four 
hours by train going fifty miles, then passport 
and douane again ; but once there, I almost 
wished myself miles away, and felt as if body 
and mind were becoming stone. God indeed 
has crowned me with tender mercies and loving 
kindnesses. May I never forget to praise Him. 
*' Your ever loving, 

*' Agnes E. Jones.'* 

LONDON. 233 

"Hotel d*Angleterre, Rome, Jan, 27, 1862. 

" Dearest Aunt, — I think I have never writ- 
ten you one line since I came to this dismal, 
dreary Rome. You cannot conceive a more 
gloomy place ; the narrow dark streets where 
every vehicle threatens your life, and as to mud 
and smells, no one knows what they are who 
has not experienced Rome. I never go out 
but as a duty, for the whole is so depressing, 
and it is indeed so utterly the ^ city given to 
idolatry ;' the associations of its past are for- 
gotten in its present, and except to the Pincian 
Hill, the fashionable promenade, one has to go 
far through streets before reaching country air. 
My favourite walk is to the Coliseum, the 
only thing I have yet seen which has impressed 
me; arches and sculptures and pictures one 
seems to know from copies ; not that I have 
seen much of these yet. To-day I went to the 
Vatican, but had only time to see the Sistine 
Chapel ; it would take months to study the 
figures in the frescoes, the anatomy is so per- 
fect, but different Popes have got artists to 
clothe Michael Angelo's naked figures. I may 

234 LONDON. 

say I have not seen St. Peter's ; I was only 
once there for a grand festival, and saw Pio 
Nono, but not the details of the building. 1 
saw some paintings at the Palazzo Doria and 
the Catacombs of St. Agnese, and here my 
sight-seeing ends, but I am not yet in a mood to 
enjoy sights, though both patients are better ; it 
is very slow work, and I can't leave S. long." 

On Agnes's arrival in Rome she found that 
I was out of danger, though still extremely 
weak, but a cousin, who was one of our party, 
was in a very critical state with the same kind 
of fever. Agnes at once devoted herself to her, 
and her kind and judicious nursing is fondly 
remembered. The attendance was a trying 
one, involving watchful nights and anxious 
days ; air and exercise for an hour or two 
daily was essential, and Agnes used to return 
from her little expeditions with wonderful his- 
tories of the places she had visited, always 
making her way beyond the walls, and ex- 
ploring ruins and tombs and temples with a 
courage and perseverance all her own. Few 
ladies, perhaps, have ever so thoroughly ex- 

LONDON. 235 

amined the antiquities of that wonderful city ; 
the pictures, too, she delighted in, and when I 
was strong enough to visit the galleries, she 
acted as cicerone, and saved me much fatigue 
by taking me at once to those paintings that 
were really worth seeing. Finding that neither 
of the invalids were likely to regain strength 
quickly, Agnes at once determined to remain 
with us during our stay abroad, and wrote to 
tell Mrs. Ranyard that she must give up all 
hope of resuming her London work. Truly she 
ever remembered that home duties came first, 
and only when the necessity for her presence 
was removed did she turn again to more ac- 
tive labours. After some weeks in Naples, and 
a second short visit to Rome, we proceeded to 
Florence, where Agnes met and had much 
pleasant intercourse with Rosa and Francesco 
Madiai, the Kaiserswerth deaconesses then 
lately established in the town, and some good 
English Christians, to whom she had introduc- 
tions. The great heat of an Italian May, how- 
ever, relaxed her strength, which had seemed 
to be restored by the rest and change, and soon 

236 LONDON. 

after our arrival in Florence, she proposed 
leaving us for a time, to visit some of the 
deaconess institutions in Switzerland, promis- 
ing to rejoin us in Paris early in July. A 
friend, who was on her way to Geneva, sug- 
gested that they should travel together, and 
they started about May 15th for the Italian 
lakes, whence they were to cross the Simplon. 
This friend wrote to a relative, ** Agnes was 
the most agreeable and the most useful fellow- 
traveller I ever met ; she knew or found out 
all that was necessary for travellers to know, 
and while others were discussing she had all 

At Villeneuve they parted, and Agnes's first 
visit was to St. Loup, a deaconess institution 
near Lausanne, of which she had heard much 
when at Kaiserswerth ; the account of her stay 
there, with some notices of Riehen, Zurich, and 
Mulhaus, will be found in the appendix. Stras- 
burg and Mannedorf she also visited, and at the 
latter spent some days with that remarkable 
woman Dorathea Trudel, of whose faith and 
prayer she ever spoke with the deepest admi- 

LONDON. 237 

In July, Agnes joined us in Paris, and almost 
her first words to my mother were a request 
that she might devote herself entirely to 
nursing-work; all that she had witnessed at 
these institutions having more deeply im- 
pressed upon her the conviction she had long 
felt, that her special talent was for labouring in 
hospitals. There were many to take up Bible 
work and other branches of Christian labour; 
few who had physical strength, nerve, and in- 
clination to devote themselves to the sick in 
hospital wards. My mother could no longer 
resist her wish, and when we arrived in Lon- 
don, Agnes entered at once into correspondence 
with Miss Nightingale and Mrs. Wardroper, 
and it was arranged that in October she should 
enter St. Thomas's Hospital as a Nightingale 

Is this the place to pause a few moments 
and vindicate this step ? Are there any who 
have read so far in the story of a life, told so 
imperfectly and reflecting so dimly the bright- 
ness and beauty of the original, who ask if she 
was acting wisely and rightly in this ? I can 

238 LONDON. 

scarcely think it ; to me, it seems as if God's 
guiding hand is seen so plainly in every step, 
that to have remained now in the quiet shelter 
of her home, even though she had continued to 
fulfil there all her duties as daughter and sister 
and friend, could only have been done by turn- 
ing aside from the path that God had opened 
up before her. It v^as no enthusiastic dreamer, 
no young untried worker who enters this path ; 
each step before had been leading to it; she 
had gone on from day to day fulfilling each 
present duty, leaving the future to God, with 
dreams and aspirations indeed, after greater 
devotedness to Him, more special service for 
Him, but content to trust all to His guiding 
and to wait His time. As long as parental 
consent was wanting, she would not even un- 
duly press for it ; she realized, as few realize, 
that hearts are in God's hand, and that He 
inclines them to what He would have them do. 
Many said then, perhaps some may say now : 
but why so much training ? Surely, after those 
eight months at Kaiserswerth, she must have 
known enough of nursing to take at once the 

LONDON. ^39 

superintendence of a hospital ? I will answer 
in the words of one who is the highest authority 
on this subject, and who, in her most touching 
and affectionate paper on my dear sister, says,* 
** Nursing is an art ; and if it is to be made an 
art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a 
preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; 
for what is the having to do with dead canvas 
or cold marble, compared with having to do 
with the living body, the temple of God's Spirit. 
It is one of the fine arts : I had almost said the 
finest of the fine arts. . . . There is no such 
thing as amateur art ; there is no such thing as 
amateur nursing. . . . Three-fourths of the 
whole mischief in women's lives arises from 
their excepting themselves from the rule of 
training considered needful for man.-" 

And this was Agnes's own firm conviction ; 
everything she attempted to do, she wished to 
do as thoroughly as possible, and she always 
said she would never profess to teach any one 
what she did not fully understand herself. And 

* *Una and the Lion,' by Florence Nightingale, June, 1858; 
• Good Words,' 

»4^ LONDON. 

she came to her work with all the freshness and 
energy of youth, fired with the desire to devote 
herself arKi her powers to His service Who had 
so loved her. It was not that she had tried 
earth's pleasures and found them vanity and 
vexation of spirit, and then turned disappointed 
and embittered to something that would fill the 
void ; no, God had given her grace to choose 
Him first, and from early childhood to look to 
His favour as her life and peace. 

Blessed are they whose hearts thus yearn 
only after heavenly love, who walk through life 
with no hard crust of worldliness excluding the 
sweet influences of God's blessed Spirit, and 
who, when the Master's voice calls to special 
devotedness, are ready to follow where He 
leads, even if the fksh must bleed and the 
spirit faint* 




*• All her eye loved, all her hand pre^f^d 
With keen affection's glow. 
The voice of home, all pleasures best, 
All dearest thoughts below. 

** From friend-lit hearth, from social board, 
All duteously she rose ; 
For faith upon the Master's word 
Can find a sure repose." 

'T^HE following paper needs no explanatory 
•^ preface : — 

" Fa HAN, Sunday night ^ September ^othj 1862. 

'* I Cor. vi. 19, 20. All good-byes are said ; 
to-morrow I leave this loved home, and loved 
people. ^Why do you go away?' have many 
asked, and now I must answer that why, so 
that when I look back on this decided step, I 
may know somewhat of the position in which I 
stood when it was taken. How shall I lo^k 



back years hence, if spared ? Shall it be with 
regret or pleasure ? I will not look forward 
save with the earnest look at Him Whose love, 
I trust, constraineth me, laying at His feet the 
secret longing of my heart, that in the great 
day of account He will blot out all my short- 
comings, and all my sins, and say of even 
poor weak me, ' She hath done what she 

'^ For more than a year and a half has St. 
Thomas's been a half-pleasant, half-dreaded 
thought, and in less than a week it will be to 
me a reality. What influence I may have there 
for good or evil, — what trials I may be exposed 
to — all these have been already too much, per- 
haps, weighed and counted on. God knows 
what may be. May He be very near, and may 
I cling more to Him in all. Perhaps it is well 
that I shall, at my first outset in hospital work, 
bear the name of * Nightingale Probationer,' for 
that honoured name is associated with my first 
thought of hospital life. In the winter of '54, 
when I had those first earnest longings for 
work, and had for monthr* so little to satisfy 


them, how I wished I were competent to joia 
the Nightingale band when they started for 
the Crimea ! I Hstened to the animadversions 
of many, but I almost worshipped her who 
braved all, and I felt she must succeed. In 
spring, 1853, we had been abroad ; the visit to 
Paris deaconesses had left ^ Kaiserswerth ' a 
name of which I longed to know more. The 
day spent there deepened this feeling, and the 
after w^eek of further acquaintance, with the 
disappointment that I was not allowed to re- 
main there, instead of seeing Switzerland, 
made longings after Kaiserswerth-training still 
deeper. For years I thought of it, but first, 
mamma could not be left alone, then J. was 
my special charge, and in no way could it be. 
I was very happy in my home and in my work, 
only that I longed for greater power of useful- 
ness, and sometimes thought of what I might 
be able to effect were I trained ; I wished for 
nothing more than a more earnest loving spirit 
in my work, and God's blessing on it. Then 
came September, i860, when mamma proposed 
that I should rest my voice, and have entire 

R 2 


change, by a visit to Kaiserswerth. Oh, the 
doubts and fears ! but I went, trying only to 
think of all I might learn, and what greater 
usefulness I might become capable of. ' For a 
month only,' as I said to Pastor Fliedner, pro- 
testing that home and poor could not be longer 
left. Home news seemed to say that sole 
charge of both was doing J. good, and day after 
day I remained at Kaiserswerth. In my second 
month there, I had much watching of a poor 
dying man ; sitting alone by him in that little 
room, day after day, it went to my heart to 
hear some of his requests refused, and to see 
the food given him, so unfitted to his state. 
And I sat there and thought, ' If these be the 
trials of the sick in an institution conducted on 
Christian principles, oh, how must it be in 
those institutions in our own land where no 
true charity is in the hearts of most of the 
heads or hands that work them !' and I then 
and there dedicated myself to do what I could 
for Ireland, in its workhouses, infirmaries, and 
hospitals. And so I remained at Kaiserswerth, 
trying almost to steel myself against the fearful 


accounts of sickness and death in Syria,, and 
the appeals for helpers. But at last the 
thought came, — for awhile you may be of use 
there, and yet return to Ireland; and I wrote 
to mother for leave to go to Beyrout. I took 
that letter to the pastor, * May I add, you will 
let me work with your sisters when there T 
He answered, ' If you wish to give your life and 
every energy to work for the sick, your own 
country calls you; Miss Nightingale has just 
written to ask me for a person to fill a position 
for which you could be easily fitted.' Next dai^ 

came Mr. R.'s letter, saying that Uncle 

had advised him to ask me to prepare myself 
for the superintendence of Liverpool Training 
School for nurses for the poor, and would I go 
through a course of preparation for it ? I found 
this suggestion and the pastor's were identical. 
Also came a letter from Mrs. Ranyard ; since 
her eldest daughter's death, she so wanted me 
to come and be a friend and helper. Mamma 
also urged this ; she would rather that should 
be my work, if I were not coming home ; and 
to me, Bible work seemed the highest. Not so 


to Pastor Fliedner, ' Any one with an earnest 
Christian spirit could help there ; in hospital- 
work there must be a special faculty.' I never 
forgot those words. I came to London, saw 
Miss Nightingale, who plainly put before me 
the difficulties of the work, the trials of the 
training-time, kindly, lovingly, and so sympa- 
thizingly, and yet I felt I could meet them. 
Then came the interview with Mr. R., and the 
feeling that I was far too young and inex- 
perienced for anything of the kind. A year at 
St. Thomas's might give the mechanical skill 
in nursing, but the powers requisite for or- 
ganizing, directing, superintending, whence 
were they to come ? No, at the head I could 
not be, especially as I was told, my religious 
feelings and views must be kept in the back- 
ground, till I was considered so invaluable an 
agent that such things should be tolerated, as 
it were for the sake of other things. What ! was 
I to be this giant champion ? I ! who had so little 
to commend me. It seemed mockery, and yet 
I had not sought the position or the work. 
Perhans in some other sphere there would be 


work for me. Then Mrs. Ranyard's invitation 
appeared much that would suit to prepare me; 
with her I could learn to superintend, learn 
what faculties I had in that way, and yet not 
in too responsible a position, so as to do harm 
by failing. It was not without regret I turned 
aside from 'nursing;' and had I not felt partly 
pledged to Mrs. Ranyard, before I visited St. 
Thomas's, I should have returned to my origi- 
nal purpose that very June, 1861. And yet I 
do not regret that delay ; looking back, I feel I 
have been prepared by that work to meet many 
trials and difficulties which, with my previously 
limited experience of life, I could not have ima- 
gined. And that isolation which so tried me 
then, probably I shall have to meet again. 
There is no second home in the world, — no re- 
placing of mother and sister. But I never for- 
got ' nursing,' and it often seemed I ought to 
return to it. When I was called to Rome, by 
S.'s bed, as before by Aunt L.'s, I felt as if I 
had somewhat of the nursing-faculty, but 
always the question came, ' Could I govern and 
teach others ?' I went to St. Loup, and 


learned lessons there ; lessons from imperfec- 
tions. Riehen and Zurich taught me how God 
can make feeble women strong in such work, — 
can teach even weak ones, who seem so cling- 
ing as to need support, to stand and give guid- 
ance and help to others. At Strasburg, with 
Sister Emilie as with Sister Trina, I discussed 
the difficulties of a superintendent, and many 
of Sister Sophie's words came to memory from 
a nev/ point of view, and so less tremblingly I 
came to consider the question, * How could I 
help ?' and I determined at least to try, to 
come to St. Thomas's Hospital, and to see 
whether in so great a work as that of train- 
ing true-hearted, God-fearing nurses there 
were not some niche for me. If every one 
shrinks back because incompetent, who will 
ever do anything? *^Lord, here am I, send 

*' And as to this dread of associates let me, 
more and more, remember Mr. Rathbone's 
words : * Are you more above those with whom 
you will have to mix than our Saviour was in 
every thought and in sensitive refinement ?* 


What am I to meet and combat evil ? I, so 
weak, so needing to be led and influenced 
aright ? If I am in the way, as I trust I am, 
in which God would have me be, will He not 
care for that ? May God go with me and help 

While the question was still pending as to 
whether she would enter on a course of training 
for hospital work, or take up the Bible work 
under Mrs. Ranyard, in 1861, she had written 
to the aunt, to whom, of all her relatives, she 
ever opened most her heart. 

" My dearest Aunt. — I feel as if I could 
write folios, and not give you an idea of my 
present feelings ; and yet in writing I can do so 
better than in words, for though I never write 
what I do not feel, I know I express myself so 
differently when I speak, that I often fear I 
must seem to deceive. I might write much of 
what I have seen and heard in this last week, 
and yet the outer has not been so eventful to 
me as the inner world. Still, so different am I 
to what I appear, that I am charged with in- 
difference as to engaging in the Bible work, 


while it is what I could engage in gladly this 
moment, heart and soul ; it is my old familiar 
work ; it is what I have longed and do long to 
be wholly engaged in; it is a work I always 
feel God must bless, because it is His, not our 
word, and yet I dare not dwell on all its allure- 
ments. Look at it in externals : in lodgings, 
next door to Mrs. R., who would be always 
ready to help and advise, I should have the 
superintendence of the new girls' refuge and of 
its excellent matron, the training of some Bible 
women, and the conducting of a women's class, 
— a Bible work, a home, and my spare time my 
own. Could anything be more attractive ? per- 
haps, to put it in strong relief, no contrast that 
could be chosen would do so more than my 
other opening path. God guide me, for it is a 
life choice, and yet I do feel one way or the 
other must be closed. I must not enter on a 
path : half-hearted, often to look back to its 
starting-point and say : Oh, that I had chosen 
the other. Well, what is the other ? If it be 
* seeking for some great thing to do,' it is by 
going down, indeed, before beginning to mount, 


and I do feel, if my mother gives me leave to 
enter it, it is because God will have it so, and I 
will allow this to turn the scale. I have looked 
it in the face and there is no middle choice. 
Kindly and plainly did Miss Nightingale put it 
to me, * Could I do so V I have asked it my- 
self, and I say ^ I can ;' I had so contemplated 
it before I left Kaiserswerth. If I wish to be 
trained for practical usefulness, nothing else 
will do, says Miss Nightingale, than a year's 
training in a London hospital. There are but 
two open. King's College and St. Thomas's. 
Well, if ever I contemplated the first, it was at 
an end when I found I must become a sister to 
do so.* And at St. Thomas's, I must be pre- 
pared to enter as a common nurse ; my com- 
panions there, moral and respectable, but not, as 
a body. Christian women. Miss N. dwelt on all 
this, and yet I do not feel it would really lower 
me to do so. ^Iy^motto for whatever my work 
or sphere may be is Psalm Ixxi. i6. And might 
not God give me a mission to St. Thomases 
nurses and patients ? And then the training 

* This rule is not r.o\v in force. 


past, all this sanitary and nursing movement 
might find one at least who was not High 
Church, a trained agent to train others. Then, 
were I a skilful mechanical worker, they might 
let me be more of a spiritual one. Jesus be- 
came a servant, and why may not I be a ser- 
vant of servants ? I know something of that ; 
though, as Miss N. said, where one had Chris- 
tian communion it was easier. I did the most 
menial work at Kaiserswerth. You know I 
shall not stand alone ; the Triune God will be 
with me." 

This letter proves, if proof were wanting, 
that she fully realized all she was entering 
upon, when she left her lovely country home 
and immured herself for twelve months in a 
hospital in London. For the history of the 
time she spent there we have no journal, and 
only three or four letters to refer to. The first 
letter describes her arrival : — 

*' We reached London at 6.30, and I was 
fortunate about my luggage, so got off at once, 
I desired the cabman to drive to Surrey Gar- 
dens, and we drove on long through well-knowr* 


streets, but when we passed the obelisk I came 
to new ground. However, not long after, we 
stopped, and I saw a great gateway, over which 
was in large letters, * St. Thomas's Hospital/ 
so a bell was rung, and I said ' Nightingale 
nurse ;' the gate opened and we drove on a 
little way and then saw a long half-covered 
way leading to a large well-lighted room. Up 
to this I walked ; saw porter No. 2, and was 
admitted into a large warm hall, well panelled 
and partitioned, as all the house is, with well- 
planed deal, varnished its own colour, which 
looks so clean and light. I had a long wait 
while the cabman brought in the luggage, and 
then was conducted past the doors of some 
wards, in which I saw a few patients in bed 
and two nurses seated most comfortably at 
work at a table in the middle of the room ; 
then we crossed a large space with trees, giving, 
as did all I saw, the idea and feeling of being 
far from any town ; and though I have not yet 
been out, there is the perfect stillness of the 
country. But to go on and introduce you as I 
was. The porter led me into a kind of small 


hall, and instantly two nice-looking, almost 
deaconess-looking, nurses came forward and 
received me most kindly, saying Mrs. W. (the 
lady-superintendent) had been in several times 
during the afternoon and evening, and had just 
left^ having given me up for that day. How- 
ever, nothing could exceed the kindness of these 
nurses; their dress a kind of grey stuff, very neat, 
white aprons and caps, rather too round and co- 
quettish I thought for sisters, but a neat pretty 
style of dress, which will, I am sure, be most 
becoming to Nurse Agnes. They brought me 
into a large, lofty, comfortable room, with 
tables, chairs, flowers, pictures, books, carpet, 
rug, fire, gas, like any sitting-room ; off this, 
surrounded by the varnished boards, are the 
little bedroom cells ; their wooden walls about 
ten feet high, not halfway to the ceiling, with a 
bed, small chest of drawers, wash-stand, chair, 
and towel-rail. The room vv^as formerly a 
refreshment room, and is a very handsome and 
lofty one, lighted from the roof, and now sur- 
rounded by the nurses' cells, with the open 
space in the middle for their sitting-room, 


where I am now writing at one of the numerous 
little tables, with bright flowers and numbers 
of all kinds of magazines around me. Two 
things cheered me much to see : first, on enter- 
ing the sitting-room, a picture of Kaiserswerth; 
secondly, in the bedroom, a large Bible on the 
drawers beside the looking-glass. I was taken 
to my room, provided with hot water, and after 
a little, called to tea, comfortably prepared in 
the nice light eating-room, quite separate from, 
but near our sitting-room. . • . There is a tem- 
porary church fitted up in the house, which all 
attend, but every second Sunday I shall have 
the whole afternoon to myself to go where I 
like. There are fourteen Nightingale nurses, 
besides sisters, and about 280 patients, when 
the house is full, which it is not yet, as this place 
was only opened a few days ago. I went to 
bed soon after tea, and was up for breakfast 
this morning at 6.30. Everything is so quiet 
that you more feel than know that others are 
moving around you. My nurse friend sum- 
moned me to breakfast w^here I had tea last 
night, and I found the whole party assembled ; 


a nice respectable-looking set ; all amiable- 
looking, some pretty; the sister sat at the head 
of the table. Bread-and-butter and toast in 
plenty, and each person with their own tea-pot 
and sugar-bowl, which they wash and keep in 
their own room. Each cell has its own gas, 
and there is some general light which seems *o 
burn all night, for I never woke but I saw it; I 
could read a large print Bible in bed by it. It 
seems to me as if, with God's blessing, I may 
have great means of usefulness here, both 
with nurses and patients, for one seems 
to have much freedom. God grant me the 
best influence, but He must keep my own 
soul very close to Himself. And now, dar« 
lings, do not fret yourselves about me, there 
seems to be every provision for comfort, 
and all I have yet seen or heard has given 
me a pleasant impression, and I feel at home 

A month later she writes : — 

'* The patients often call for me, and some- 
times it is, ' When you have time, will you 
••me and talk a little?'' I find I have little 


time for any but the one subject, or asking 
particulars about their illness, which we are 
required to know. Some of the children I get 
to learn hymns for me and teach those who 
cannot read, but I have not time every day for 
all. Sometimes I have an hour with the charge 
of my ward on me alone, when sister and nurse 
are at dinner, and when the porters' feet are 
heard bringing in some fresh case, I sometimes 
fear lest I should not know how to act ; how- 
ever, no very bad case has yet so come in, and 
I have always the sister of the next ward at 
hand to call. ... I have put up one of the 
' Silent Comforters,' like mother's, and think of 
her reading the same every morning. I fancy I 
am in the best ward, that is, the one easiest to 
get on in with the nurses, etc., but it is good 
discipline to have to meet all characters, and 
one has always power of appeal to Mrs. W., 
whose good sense and justice are proverbial. 
She is a woman whom one must respect. I 
love her already, and one hears on all sides of 
her kindness." 



" Christmas f iS()2, 

** We have got our hospital trousseau, and are 
so busy every spare moment, I must finish 
my bonnet for to-morrow, and my jacket for 
Christmas Day, so shall have scarcely a moment. 
I have given out my dresses to be made, so am 
better off than most. We are obliged to go to 
church in hospital costume, but in our daily 
walks may dress as we like. ... I often think 
how you would laugh if you could take a peep 
at me, for instance, when I am giving medicine 
to forty-two men ; one amuses me — he opens 
his mouth for me to pop in a pill, and stops to 
thank me before he swallows it.'* 

No date, supposed spring 1863. 

*^ I am not only off night duty, but I am at 
Barnet. Are you not surprised ? A bright 
thought struck me on Tuesday night, that, as 
I might be off night duty any day, it would just 
be the time for Barnet before going to a new 
ward, so I wrote to ask Mrs. jPennefather if she 
could have me, and received last night a most 
kind note, asking me to go for that night, if I 


could ; if not, as early as I liked this morning, 
and stay till Monday, so I came by the eight 
o'clock train to breakfast. Mrs. W. was so 
kind about it, and said I need not go on duty 
till Tuesday morning, so might stay here late 
on Monday; after that I go to the male medical 
ward. It was quite a novelty to sleep last 
night, my first night in bed for six weeks. I 
thought the rest and change would do me good, 
and also that it would be better than breaking 
in on my work a few weeks hence. I was so 
tired last night, having been more than tv/enty- 
four hours out of bed, and without sleep, rny 
own fault as you will hear. On Wednesday I 
got up at 4.30 P.M. to get my tea-dinner, and 
go to Mr. Long's lecture, and then returned to 
night duty from lo p.m. till lo a.m., as usual ; 
took a long walk to see W. before she went to 
her new post, and returned very much heated 
by the close relaxing day. At dinner Sister .... 
told me that Mrs. W. had left a message for 
me, that I was off night duty, and was to go to 

; the male medical ward next morning. Mrs. 

' P.'s answer had not come, so I could not ask 

s 2 


leave for Barnet, but felt sure the next post 
would bring it. I thought it so lazy to go to 
bed then, when I was to have it at night, so 
went off and paid some visits. All were out of 
town, so I began to think of some amusement ; 
went to the Polytechnic, and saw ' Cinderella * 
in dissolving views ; an innocent spree, was it 
not ? I laughed at myself afterwards about it ; 
returned so tired, found Mrs. P.'s note, but was 
too weary to think of much but bed that night, 
and came here this morning, receiving such a 
warm welcome, and now am going for a walk 
with Mrs. P. Am I not your happy Agnes ?" 

A day later she writes again : '* I cannot tell 
you of all my enjoyment, sitting in this elegant 
drawing-room, now in among the plants in the 
window, looking out at the grass plats and 
hyacinth-beds ; now in my cosy bedroom, with 
the opening Banksia buds peeping in, and the 
view of the church and fields beyond ; now 
walking over the fields to dive into Hadley 
Wood, and revel among its beauties, the bud- 
ding shrubs and beds of violets, sorrel and 
primroses beneath them. Now the vistas of 


green spots and cattle feeding ; now the birds 
singing ; now the woodman's axe, everything 
bringing before me new yet familiar associations, 
and the warm, bright sun, so like summer : I 
feel more like a gay glad child than ever in my 
life before. I am so amused sometimes at some 
such common things seeming so pleasant ; last 
night getting into bed to feel soft fine sheets; I 
never thought before what coarse ones I have 
lately been sleeping in. But I cannot tell yo;* 
the delight of Mrs. P.'s morning and evening 
kiss, it makes me think of mother, — my own 
darling mother. Oh ! how good God is, crown- 
ing me with these His loving-kindnesses, giving 
me to find favour. Morning prayer, and a daily 
prayer-meeting are such privileges. I return 
by this evening's train, after a most enjoyable 
visit. I have had a great deal of quiet time to 
myself, but less talk than I hoped with Mr. and 
Mrs. P., who are very busy ; but I have much 
enjoyed the atmosphere, mental and spiritual, 
so hope to return benefited in mind and body, 
and with new vigour, energy, and devotion to 
work. Yesterday I was at Mrs. P.'s delightful 


Bible-class, of which I shall send you notes. I 
haJ a Sunday school class in the morning, and 
/^n Saturday one at the Rescue House, and 
have just spent nearly two hours at the Mission 
Home, being questioned about details of dea- 
coness work and training, for the benefit of its 
inmates, and in their presence. I have been 
lazy about letter writing since I came here, 
spending nearly all my time out of doors. I 
came for rest and air, and have conscientiously 
taken both, and so enjoyed myself, but am glad 
to return to my happy work." 

The following letter seems to refer to a later 
visit to Barnet, in July : — 

'' I have arranged to go to Barnet this day 
week, from Monday till Monday, so I shall have 
a rest before and after the Conference. It is 
really next best to going home ; when that 
comes near, I think I shall be almost crazy 
with delight. In the end, I believe the holiday 
will be no lost time, but enable me to return to 
my work with more vigour. My work, I more 
and more feel it, for the worst things only make 
me realize how Christian and really good nurses 


are needed ; and as to my nerve, I never knew 
I had so much. I don't say that I don't feel, 
but I go from the wards to my meals or bed, 
saying, I must eat or sleep, and so I do most 
obediently. With the heat, too, I often feel 
God thinks of me, for we never have more than 
two or three days and nights together very 

''May igth, 1863. — I do not agree with you, 
that I should be more tied were I at the head 
of an institution ; I could then have you and J. 
to stay with me, as well ^s be able to pay you 
short visits; however I do not want to make 
any plan further than this ; in October to go 
home for two or three months, and then re- 
turn to England for a year more of nursing, — 
my last English sojourn I hope, as Ireland is 
ever my bourn. But I should lose much did I 
not take another year at what you would call the 
drudgery of nursing, not superintending others, 
but myself doing it. I feel now as if I were 
just beginning to learn, to see a little what I 
ought to observe, and how I can begin to un- 
derstand. It is just like a school-girl, whose 


Hrst year teaches little more than her deficien- 
cies, the second is one of progress. Besides, 
I do not say immediately after my second year, 
but I am sure God must have some work for 
me in which to use what I am now learning ; 
I am so growingly happy in it, and so fond 
of my work. W. came to see us on Sunday, 
and w^as in great delight to be once more at 
the Bible-class.'* 

This Bible-class Agnes had begun soon after 
her arrival at the hospital for the other 
Nightingale nurses, with Mrs. Wardroper's 
permission ; it was a great interest to her, 
and she had reason to believe it was blessed 
to the souls of several of its members. A 
day or two after leaving the hospital she thus 
alludes to it in a letter: — 

** I had a most painful and yet gratifying 
parting, many tears on all sides, and even 
from some of whom I did not expect it. I 
believe all were sincerely sorry, but best of 
all was the general testimony to how much 
they should miss the Bible-class ; it was such 
a help, how could they do without it ? How 


good God has been to me ! The year has 
flown, and has been such a happy one.** 

During the spring she wrote to a young 
friend in Ireland, to whom she was sincerely 
attached : — 

''My dearest .C, — It is so very long since 
I have heard anything of you, that I must 
write to let you know you are not forgotten. 
You are probably ignorant of my present posi- 
tion, so I must introduce myself as Nightin- 
gale probationer in a large London hospital, 
in plainer words, learning to be a nurse; not 
yet one, but * serving my time.* There is such 
a field of usefulness in such a sphere. I only 
wonder more ladies do not enter upon it ; the 
difficulties are great, strength and health and 
active habits and courage are indispensable, 
but the influence for good one may have is 
what can more than compensate for the coni- 
paratively small trials. I never was happier, 
and all who see me say, ' Well, you have 
found your vocation.* Even Mrs. R., who was 
rather inclined to be jealous of my leaving 
Bible women for hospital work, admits this, 


and through her I can keep up my interest 
in my former, and still much-loved, work. I 
trust and believe I am a Bible woman as well 
as a nurse, and I can sometimes see fruit 
which shows me God is blessing me here. 
My heart is ever in Ireland, where I hope 
ultimately to work ; but I think thorough train- 
ing for a special sphere of work more than 
doubles one's future power, and in a low as 
well as a high position one meets those to 
whom God may enable one to be useful. He 
gives work when He gives the will to do it. 
I often think dear, dear C, of that confirma- 
tion day, when we knelt together to dedicate 
ourselves to our Saviour. When we look back 
all those years, what an amount of neglected 
duties and lost opportunities, and yet what 
mercies one recalls ; what tokens of a heavenly 
Father's love and guiding providence ! I some- 
times hear indistinct accounts of your active 
useful life, but should like to know more of 
your schools, etc. from yourself. ... I had 
nearly three months at Fahan before coming 
here, but as all my old love of it remains, a 


visit is almost more painful than total absence. 
It is hard to say how far it can ever again be 
home to me, so many things have made this 
work so plainly my work, that I have to realize 
that it is probably to be my lifework. As every 
past step has been made plain, I can trust that 
the future will be so also. Home, position, 
society, and the refinements of life are plea- 
sures, but where one has work, they are not 
necessaries. Perhaps later, I may be able to 
combine them more than at present. Excuse 
such a hasty note, and believe me, ever your 
attached friend, A. E. Jones." 

"St. Thomas's, ^J5n7 24^/1, 1863. 

" My dearest Aunt, — Day after day I hope 
and wish to answer your letter, but it is easy to 
intend. One of our nurses is ill and I have a 
little extra duty, which I am glad of, as it is 
real practice, but one half-hour less time, one 
runs after all day and never overtakes. I 
come up to read prayers, too, now, which I am 
glad to do, as I can make more hear than the 
other nurse can. I am now the oldest proba- 


tioner here, and from this, and also having 
gradually crept on to it, they all look to me 
for little helps — now to correct spelling, now to 
show them how to keep their books, and other 
information, and sometimes for advice and 
sympathy. Then my Bible-class needs much 
careful preparation, so that all my time down- 
stairs is too much occupied for letters ; and 
in the wards, as sure as one sits down, the cry 
of ' nurse ' calls you from your book, or paper, 
or thoughts. I have had two pleasant letters 
from probationers who have felt grateful for my 
kindness, and all who have attended it have 
so thanked me for the Bible-class; indeed, it 
has been a most bright spot to me, and such an 
interest during the week preparing for it and 
holding it, that not only personally has it been 
a great delight, but God has given me also to 
know that it has been more or less useful to 
four, and decidedly blessed to one . . . When 1 
feel how far short I am of what I ought to 
be, I fear to mar what God has begun ; I do 
not think He will allow real harm to be done, 
but one may hinder, raise difficulties and 


doubts in the minds of those beginning the 
race, when they see persons they fancy advanced 
in the Christian course, so weak and incon- 
sistent as I am." . . . 

As the year at St. Thomas's Hospital drew 
to a close, an opening for further work pre- 
sented itself to her; she heard of a Kaisers- 
werth deaconess being at the deaconess insti- 
tution in Burton Crescent, and went to call 
on her, thinking it might be one she had known 
during her visit to Germany. She found that 
she had come over to assist the English sisters 
in adding the care of a hospital to their other 
occupations, but that she was on the point of 
returning home, and the heads of the institu- 
tion in Burton Crescent were seeking some one 
to replace her. A few da3^s later the chaplain 
called at St. Thomas's Hospital, and asked 
Agnes if she would come and help them ; this, 
after some deliberation, she agreed to do. After 
a very short visit at home during the month 
of October, she returned to London and com- 
menced her duties as superintendent of the 
small hospital in Bolsover Street. Later, the 


Great Northern Hospital was substituted for 
this one. During her stay there she kept no 
journal, and a few letters are the only record 
of this period. 

** November ^th, 1863. 

*' Dearest Aunt, — I had a comfortable and 
unadventurous journey, with pleasant remem- 
brances of the kindness of friends. I only dare 
look forward, recollecting past help and rely- 
ing on ^ Ebenezer.' I am so sorry my visit 
to you was not more quiet, yet it is very 
pleasant to be able to picture your work and 
present home. I have reason for apologies 
innumerable. To-day I took up my Bible to 
read Hebrews iii., and found words which came, 
indeed, home to present need, and which will, 
I trust, be my motto here : ' Consider the 
Apostle and High Priest of our profession, 
even Jesus, Who was faithful to Him that 
called Him.* Oh, may I never forget God's 
message to me to-day, ' Consider Jesus,' and 
may I, like Him, forget all else and be faithful 
to my God. May He enable me, — alone, I 


cannot. And if I have difficulties, and if I be 
lonely, and if there be little warmth or sym- 
pathy, Jesus knows, and He will be as He 
has been ^ friendly.* I can only look forward 
in the strength of, ^ Hitherto hath the Lord 
helped me,' and ' The Lord will provide,' and 
may I never forget the connection between, 
' Casting all your care upon Him, for He 
careth for you,' with ^And the peace of God 
shall keep your hearts,' " etc. Private paper 

of same date : *' Just had a talk with ; I 

feel the stiffness and coldness, the rule mea- 
sure of everything, the warning against things 
which I should never be led to do, showing 
such ignorance of my motives and character 
that the words seem to jar ; but how can a 
stranger know me ? Lord, Thou knowest ; 
keep me, too, from hard thoughts of a stranger. 
Lord, be Thou near, for trouble is near, lone- 
liness is near. Of course it will be better 
soon^ for I shall be at home with my work 
and interests, and now I shall get again into 
the way of no warm loving prayerful kiss from 
mother, sister, or friend. The bitterness is 


past, but the impression remains of that home 
parting, — that breaking of ties which seemed 
the work of my last visit to Fahan. As I re- 
arranged my cabinet of collections, as I walked 
on the roads, or visited the cottages, a voice 
seemed to say, you are bidding these old in- 
terests and occupations farewell for ever. The 
voice was as a sword, and I could only send 
up a cry that if God saw fit to bid me re- 
nounce all. He would be to me my all. I 
dare not think of that last morning ; must 
not others have thought me cold ? Yet I felt 
it was almost an eternal farewell to Fahan, 
a final and deliberate renouncing of home, a 
going forth, indeed, on a way I knew not. I 
dared not think almost, dared not cry, and 
could only occupy myself with the present 
and meet the future with ' Lord help me.* J. 
says I brought sunshine home, which seemed 
to vanish when I left it ; yes, I was happy, 
and yet there were times of agony. Mother, 
sister, home, when ever so dear ? I never felt 
what a life home-life was before ; the contrast 
with the other, and yet that other was very 


happy, and so I will only think of this and 
thank my God, Who has hitherto helped, and 
believe He, Who changes not, will surely con- 
tinue to do so. How blessed His name of Un- 
changeable, amid all life's changes ! and how 
especially a name for me to lean on, who have 
so many varying positions and circumstances ! 
Another support is, the assurance of so many 
prayers being offered up for me to Him Who is 
so ready to help. ^ My God shall supply all 
your need according to His riches ;' the great- 
ness of the need is only balanced against the 
riches of the supplier ; He is pledged never to 
leave me, and so I can tell Satan not to mar 
my trust in His loving care.'^ 

•* Xovemler cjlJi. 

'* My dearest Aunt, — You will almost 
wonder I have not written sooner, but one does 
not think much beyond the present on first 
arriving to new duties. I think everything 
promises well except that I shall have little 
to do at first, but, perhaps, it will be easier to 
do that little, well ; if I am not tempted to 



idle over it. Everything is so new to me ; the 
contrast between rich and poor hospitals is 
indescribable. I am learning my own defects 
but hope to be able to correct these, partly by 
my own endeavours, and partly by circum- 
stances ; however, I certainly am fortunate in 
beginning on a small scale, inefficient as I am, 
and I feel as if I had been brought here. 
I was at church yesterday evening ; Mr, C. 
preached a good but rather deep sermon on that 
beautiful text, Phil. iii. 21 ; on the whole I was 
disappointed ; though the sermon gave some 
new thoughts on the resurrection of the body, 
there was not much practical, but the text was 
a sermon in itself, and the 'Who is able?* 
seemed the Sabbath message to me.'* 

. . . '' I seem to have little to do and yet 
not much spare time. I have just had a busy 
day and night with a poor little burnt child 
who died. Burns are such an anxious charge ; 
they go off so suddenly, they never can be left. 
I suppose I shall not have my regular helpers 
until we move, and I wish the time would 


come. • . . I trust I am gaining a quiet influ- 
ence with my patients ; they are my great 
pleasure. I have more tedious than very se- 
vere cases at present, but any moment acci- 
dents may come in/* 

•* Deceml/er^ i86>- 

'* Dearest Aunt, — Your letter, my only one 
on Christmas morning, was a great pleasure ; 
my home one came the night before. ... I 
am not very busy in one way, but having the 
whole responsibility, and being the only nurse, 
am kept always occupied with my seven pa- 
tients, though we have no very serious cases 
at present. ... I was to have had a holiday, 
and hoped for a day at Barnet, but this is now 
out of the question. We had a very pretty 
little Christmas-tree, which gave great plea- 
sure. I am able to go to Mr. C.'s every Sun- 
day; I like his preaching, on the whole. Last 
Sunday he preached, as a motive to holiness, 
the. view that believers' sins would be remem- 
bered in the day of judgment, as well as those 
of the wicked, not to condemn but to humble 

T z 


them. I had just been taking such pleasure 
in comparing texts in connection with the 
scapegoat on which I had given a Bible lesson, 
* As far as the east is from the west, so far 
hath He removed our transgressions from us.' 
' The sin of Judah shall be sought for and shall 
not be found.' ^ I have cast all thy sins behind 
my back, into the depths of the sea.' * I have 
blotted out,' etc., all these expressions seem to 
teach the contrary. ... I had a kind note 
from Barnet, wanting me to go for the New 
Year prayer-meetings, but I cannot be spared 
from my post, and I know if it were good for 
me, the way would have been opened." 

^' New Year's Day, — We went last night to 
Mr. C.'s service, beginning at 10.30 ending 
12.15 A.M., but the sermon was not very prac- 
tical, and rather distracting than keeping one's 
mind on the beautiful subject, ^ Looking for the 
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.' 
1 am very happy among my patients, and 
often feel God has sent me here ; I have two 
revival patients ; one had found peace before 
she came, the other is seeking it, and to both I 


can talk. Then I have a poor woman with 
cancer, who likes me to speak of Jesus, Whom 
I believe she truly loves ; so you see I am not 
without work. Two operation cases have much 
occupied me, as I have all the nursing to do at 
present, so few patients making it unnecessary 
to have more assistance than a servant can 
give. We are soon, however, to move to the 
larger hospital. I should often like to study 
the subjects of Mr. C.'s sermons, but I have 
not time for more than seeking daily food for 
myself and my patients in my reading mo- 

The next letter seems to have been written 
after the large sphere of work on which she 
next entered had been proposed to her and ac- 
cepted, and this letter is the last we have from 
London, though she remained there for some 
months afterwards. 

*' Great Northf^rn Hospital, March 12, 1864. 

'* Dearest Aunt E., — You will think it 
strange I have not written sooner, but I can 
scarcely find time for all the letters which must 


go about this Liverpool business, of which I 
can scarcely think. I can only feel about it, 
I could not refuse : it seemed so decided for 
me, all doubt removed, so that my only real 
excuse was, my utter incapacity. Now, I can 
only think of the whole in connection with 
Jeremiah i., and feel that the same unchange- 
able God and ever living Jesus must speak so 
to me, as I believe I only seek to obey His 
call. From no one point can I see any fitness 
in myself; I can only say it is God's work, 
and He must do it. He can work by my in- 
efficiency for success or failure, whichever He 
intends as the result. My patients keep me 
very busy, but I am glad of the work, though 
I should be glad to think more. However, 
the thought is as yet so overwhelming I can 
only meet it in the one way — the way was plain ; 
I neither sought nor could I refuse the call. Mrs. 
Wardroper paid me a long kind visit on Thurs- 
day ; it is so pleasant, she is going to give me 
some of my fellow-probationers ; and does it 
not indeed seem, as I can see all my life long, 
that God has guided every step. May one follow 


the other in His own order, on which looking 
back I can see the plan and design. The very 
probationers I attached to myself, and whom I 
believe God led more or less to Himself by my 
Bible-class at St. Thomas's are those Mrs. W. 
offers me . . . Ought I not to trust for the future 
when the present is so lightened by the kindness 
of friends ? Will you tell Miss Mason all ? My 
poor little boy of seven, whose leg was ampu* 
tated on Wednesday, requires much care, day 
and night, though he is doing beautifully ; an- 
other operation case, and ten more or less anxious 
medical ones, but what are these to the proposed 
six hundred or a thousand patients ? Oh ! I trust 
my friends will pray much for me, that my heart 
and my life may be more and more wholly 
His who has now called me. I wish you would 
ask dearest Miss M., Mr. H. — M., and A. S. to 
ask God to prepare my heart for this all-im- 
portant post of such extended influence for good 
or evil, and that He will make me more realize 
that He is my Saviour and I His child, for 
whom He has promised help and strength. If 
my own heart were only strong in Him, I 


should not fear ; what I am afraid of, is the be^ 
ginning at the wrong end with, — ' Here am I, 
send me,' before He has sent live coal to touch 
my lips, 

" Your own loving Agnes." 

The last few months at the Great Northern 
Hospital tried her much, physically and men- 
tally; for the first time she had the burden of 
responsibility, which, to her sensitive and con- 
scientious spirit, was no light one ; the number 
of patients under her charge was small, but the 
assistants she had were without experience in 
sick nursing, and on her, consequently, de- 
volved much of the care and attendance. One 
peculiarly critical case she could trust no one 
to watch but herself, and for six weeks was 
seldom absent from the patient, night or day ; 
this, with the heat of the weather, soon told on 
her health ; she became pale and thin, and a 
slight deafness, from which she first suffered 
while at Kaiserswerth, increased to such a de- 
gree that she consulted Miss Nightingale as to 
whether it should not be a sufficient reason for 


her at once declining the great work in Liver- 
pool, which was at this time offered to hen 
Miss N. advised her to have an aurist's opinion 
as to the cause of the deafness, and Mr. Toyn- 
bee declared it to arise entirely from nervous 
debility, caused by over-w^ork. He prescribed 
immediate and perfect rest ; but it w^as not 
possible for her to give up the hospital, of 
which she had undertaken the charge, until a 
successor had been found, and the long delay 
in finding a suitable person, kept her in London 
until the middle of August. When she arrived 
at Fahan, we were frightened at her state of 
prostration, physical and mental. Instead of 
hastening, the morning after her arrival, to 
visit her favourite spots, to gather flowers in 
the garden, and luxuriate in the lovely scenes 
around, she seemed only able to lie on the 
sofa, and listen to our conversation, though 
even this her deafness prevented her fully en- 
joying. A week passed, and as rest and coun- 
try air seemed insufficient to restore her, my 
mother proposed taking her to Port Ballintray, 
a quiet little village near the Giant's Cause- 


way, where the Atlantic breezes might brace 
her nerves, and sea-bathing restore her wonted 
energy. This plan proved successful, and in a 
few weeks we returned home, feeling that she 
was her old self again, though the deafness 
continued most trying to her. She remained 
with us all winter, and early in spring left for 
Liverpool, where a sphere of labour had been 
opened to her, v/hich must be described in the 
next chapter. 

During the winter she wrote to my aunt : — 
'' I do not like this irregular do-less life, but 
I don't mend matters by doing the little I have 
to do, and then there is a kind of dread of get- 
ting much into home-work or interests. Every- 
thing is so strangely familiar, I can often 
scarcely believe my long absence. And yet 
there are many changes, in some ways I am 
changed myself; I could be very happy here 
again. I believe I was really useful here ; when 
I look back^ I know that several, now in heaven, 
God used me to lead there: yet no one year 
here had as marked results as last year had. 
I do not, however, think it would be always 


good for me to know how much I have done ; 
I always feel that behind the good there has 
been a contrar}^ influence. At the same time, 
I think people overrate the self-denial I have 
to practise. Routine has great charms for me, 
and I can always be happy when busy ; and, 
oh, if I could ever tell how my Heavenly 
Father daily, hourly, remembers His child ! It 
is so wonderful and marvellous. One of the 
sisters, who used to like me to talk to her, 
said when I was leaving, ' You will be happy 
wherever you go ; I never knew before I knew 
you how God's peace keeps those who trust in 
Him.' Many said to me, ' You are always 
happy.' But no words can tell how God helped 
me. I never was troubled, but He sent some- 
thing to cheer me. He hath been mindful of 
us ; He will bless us. As in the past, so daily 
will He teach us more. I am sure eternity 
will be too short for all the praise we owe ; and 
the more we need, the more He takes care to 
give. His measure is our need. As thy day 
shall thy strength be." 

Well was it for the loving heart that such 


sure confidence was hers ; that she could feel 
certain every step was wisely and lovingly or- 
dered ; even now her feet were entering cm a 
path in which every fibre of her sensitive spirit 
was to vibrate with pain — a path of trial so 
subtle that its history is fully known only to 
Him who sees the tears of His children, and 
marks their every sigh. Never again were the 
old familiar hills to be trodden by her — the 
cottage homes to be visited — the ferns and 
flowers to be sought in the wooded glen ; she 
was bidding all a last farewell now, and her 
return would be, three short years hence, when 
loving hands would bear her coffin through the 
churchyard-gates, and lay her down to rest in 
her father's grave. 




** With light in her looks, she entered the chambers of sickness . • t 

, . . Many a languid head, upraised as she entered, 

Turned on its pillow of pain to gaze while she passed, far Iks 
Fell on their hearts like a ray of the sun on the walls of a prison. 
And as she looked around, she saw how death, the consoler, 

Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it for ever." 

TN the present day of active benevolence and 
-■- prompt investigation of wrong, all classes 
of the poor, oppressed, and sinful, seem to be 
brought under the eye of the public, and as- 
sistance, solace, and (as far as may be) remedy, 
are provided ; not, indeed, in any degree equal 
to the demand, for as riches increase and luxu- 
ries become more and more necessaries of life, 
so in proportion does poverty increase and 
wretchedness and woe superabound. Of all 
miser\' in the mass, however, no department 
was so long overlooked as the misery of work* 


house paupers. Jails have long been visited 
and reformed, so that the cry is rather of the 
over-pampering than of the neglect of the cri- 
minal that has been overtaken by justice ; lu- 
natic asylums have opened their long-closed 
doors to official inspectors, and the deeds of 
oppression and cruelty they once witnessed are 
nov^ tales of the past ; factor}^ children have 
found their pleader, and the long hours of toil 
have been shortened ; but who could say a 
word for the poor in workhouses ? It needed 
the revelations of the Strand union, and of the 
casual ward in Lambeth workhouse, and other 
strange stories heard now and then, but too soon 
forgotten, to arouse the general public to in- 
vestigate the wrong that might possibly be 
found even in an institution, with paid offi- 
cials, watched over by a committee. But be- 
fore the widespread interest had been awakened 
in the public mind, one actively benevolent in- 
dividual, whose large heart seems to take in 
every need, and at once to suggest and work 
out a remedy, took thought of the sick poor 
in workhouse hospitals and inquired into their 


condition. I believe that in the Liverpool work- 
house hospital, things were better managed 
than in many similar institutions ; an active 
governor and efficient committee prevented any 
wholesale starvation or cruelty, but no general 
inspection can secure against individual oppres- 
sion where the eld system of pauper nursing 
prevails. Mr. W. Rathbone proposed at once 
to substitute for these ignorant and worse than 
useless women, trained paid nurses, and nobly 
undertook to bear all the expense connected 
with the experiment for three years, by which 
time he believed the success of the scheme 
would have recommended it to the Board of 
Guardians, and it would be adopted as the 
permanent system. As soon as he obtained 
the consent of the committee, he wrote to my 
sister, who was then, in the spring of 1864, at 
the Great Northern Hospital, asking her to 
undertake the post of lady superintendent of 
the proposed trained nurses. After much cor- 
respondence with Miss Nightingale and Mrs. 
Wardrpper on the subject, she agreed to this 
proposal. The plan could not, however, be 


commenced for several months ; many altera- 
tions v^ere necessary to secure proper accom- 
modation for the staff, and the nurses them- 
selves had to be found. Miss Nightingale, w^ho 
entered most warmly into the project, arranged 
that twelve of the Nightingale nurses trained 
at St. Thomas's Hospital should be sent to 
Liverpool, but the education of some was not 
complete, and others were in various positions 
from which they could not be recalled without 
some months* notice. Besides, Agnes was quite 
unable to enter on any work without a long 
rest, and Mr. Toynbee had given it as his opi- 
nion, that unless she had immediate and entire 
rest for some months, her deafness would be- 
come incurable. The experiment was, there- 
fore, to be postponed until the spring of 1865, 
but in the preceding August, Agnes was re- 
quested to go to Liverpool to meet the com- 
mittee, and give her opinion on various debated 
points relative to the arrangements to be made 
for her staff. She wrote to my aunt, " As to 
home, it seems as if I had so much to do first, 
I cannot realize it as near; and if the questbn^^ 


brought up foi consideration in Liverpool are 
very important, I must return at once to 
London to see Miss Nightingale and Mrs. 
Wardroper. It is very formidable this going 
alone, but I cannot try to meet any part of the 
work in my own strength. The more I think 
and know of it, the more I feel my own inca- 
pacity. And now all who love me must pray 
that I may have wisdom given me for it." 

It had been first arranged that during her 
visit to Liverpool, Agnes should be the guest of 
Mr. J. W. Cropper, at Dingle Bank, but just 
before she left London, she received a letter in- 
timating that apartments in the workhouse 
would be placed at her disposal. At first this 
change of arrangem.erils tried her much, and a 
letter written under its influence indicates great 
depression at the idea of finding her way, 
*' friendless and alone in the strange place.*' 
Before long, however, she saw many advan- 
tages in the plan, which had, indeed, been 
prompted by the kindest feeling; it had been 
suggested that she would appear before the 
committee with a more free and unbiassed oip'u 



nion if she was independent of any one member 
of the board, and the wisdom of this decision 
was recognized by her at once. The kindness 
and support she received from Mr. Cropper and 
all his family, she used to speak of with the 
warmest gratitude ; almost her only hours of 
recreation were those she spent in company 
with her devoted friend Miss Gilpin, in their 
country home and its lovely pleasure-grounds, 
where she often found relaxation and cheer 
when heavy cares and arduous labours had de- 
pressed and saddened her. 

After the lonely journey from London, Liver- 
pool is reached at lastj and she drives from the 
station to the workhouse ; the large black gates 
are opened, but the porters hesitate to admit 
her ; the name and business must be reported 
at the gate, and then a man is sent to con- 
duct her to the governor's house; after a long 
business-interview he takes her to her rooms, 
the same she is eventually to occupy — ground- 
floor rooms, looking out on a small court and 
how wall ; beyond this the fever hospital. With- 
in, all is dingy enough : horsehair sola and 


chairs, tables and stool, no ornament of any 
kind, while the dark colour of wails and wain- 
scoting gives a look of gloom to the whole ; yet 
Agnes's heart is undaunted, and she goes with 
the governor to visit the proposed nurses' rooms 
and some of the wards. Of these latter she says, 
** The beds are rather close together and the 
wards low, but all appeared fairly ventilated. 
There seemed care for the patients, too ; a few 
plants and flowers, ' Illustrated News * pictures 
on the walls, and a ' silent comforter ' in each 
ward, not the utterly desolate look one often 
meets in such places." 

That night, as she sat alone in those dreary 
rooms, she could write, '^ I feel at this moment 
completely at home here, and the nervous fear 
I had in looking forward to all, seems to have 
left me. ^ Sufficient unto the day is the evil 
thereof.* " Next day she writes, *^ I went to 
bed very happy, and with a kind of feeling that 
I had indeed adopted the work ; whatever 
doubts I might have had before, seeing the 
place has made me feel I shall love it and be 
of use, I trust, if God blesses and helps me, to 

U 2 


some of those poor lonely ones. I have to 
thank God for present help, and so little nervous- 
ness or timidity ; I must ask Him to be with 
me hourly, enabling me to undertake all and to 
meet all, as for Him and in His sight." 

A sleepless night and severe headache left 
her somewhat less brave in the morning, and 
a long delay in the arrival of the committee 
did not tend to brace her nerves. *^ I was 
awaiting them when Mrs. Cropper, sen., and 
Mrs. J. Brougham came in, bringing a basket 
of lovely flowers all arranged in a glass, and 
'^nly needing water ; it gave such a homelike 
look to my room, and the kind thoughtfulness 
of the gift made me feel again the good hand 
of my God upon me. They soon left, and 1 
had a long time to wait, so I sat down to 
read ; the Bible alone could have engrossed my 
mind, so ready to dwell on the nervous dread 
of the next hour." 

The ordeal w^as passed, and no small weight 
removed from her mind by getting the first in- 
terview over; two days longer she remained, 
so as to become perfectly acquainted with the 


proposed arrangements and suggest a few alte- 
rations. One passage more in the very detailed 
entry in her journal kept during this week, I 
must give, lest any should imagine that she 
was fascinated by the greatness of the under- 
taking and overlooked its trials : — 

'' Mr. C. hoped to-day that all did not seem 
too couleur de rose. Does it ? Have I not again 
and again asked myself, Shall I ever be able to 
meet the dreariness, the loneliness, the difficul- 
ties, jealousies, restraint, disappointments, iso- 
lation? In my own strength, no, never. And yet, 
when I look back, I see how God has helped 
me, how in the darkest moment a something has 
come, sent by that loving Father — a little word, 
a letter, flowers, a something which has cheered 
me and told not only of the human love, but of 
that watchful heavenly Friend Who knew His 
weak child's need, and answered her repining or 
fearing thought by a message of mercy which -, 
bade her trust and not be afraid. He can and 
He will, I do not say, give success, that may 
not be His way, but if all fail to human eyes, 
if I do nothing, He will look with pity on His 


child, and say, ' She has done what she could/ 
May no fear of man hinder me in His work, 
but may He so give w^isdom and prudence as 
to keep me in the middle path in ' His cause- 
way,' with a single eye to His glory, and then 
I shall not turn aside to the right or to the 
left. • • . I have many things to think of and 
plan. I fear the nurses having too much lei- 
sure ; I know they cannot rightly employ it as 
a rule. Perhaps, with uneducated minds, too 
little is worse than too much work : responsi- 
bility, too, weighs less on them. I am so glad 
I have been in the house ; in everything I can 
now more realize my future position and its 
difficulties. But I have, as never before, a 
consciousness of power to bring sunshine to 
those poor creatures, as if I could, with God'? 
blessing, make a little ray of hope and com- 
fort sometimes enter their sad hearts." 

Eight months later she returned to Liver- 
pool, to enter on her new sphere of labour. 
The trial of this last separation from us all was 
much increased by our mother's health being 
less strong than formerly, and from her journals 


we can see that Agnes had much debating with 
herself as to the duty of remaining at home, 
and renouncing hospital work. After much 
prayer for guidance, and calm weighing of the 
subject, she decided on pursuing the course 
she had entered upon, and in which already 
.she had been made the instrument of so much 
blessing. An allusion to this struggle in her 
own mind is found in a later paper : — 

** Often these doubts and questionings arise 
as to whether this apparent call to hospital 
work be not a delusion, yet there seems a word 
even for that, now that I have entered on it. 
Jeremiah xxiii. 21, * I have not Sent these pro- 
phets, yet they ran ' • . . verse 22, ' But ^/they 
had stood in my counsel, and had caused my 
people to hear my words, then they should have 
turned them from their evil way, and from the 
evil of their doings.' Oh, what a hope ! even if 
that first step were wrong, there is hope of for- 
giveness and promised blessing, if I be faithful. 
Thou, Lord, alone canst make and help me." 

Below this is a note, added a year later. 
May, 1866: — 


" Hitherto hath the Lord helped me : He 
hath led me by a wonderful way, and given 
such power to work, that I cannot say I did 
wrong to come.*' 

To my aunt she writes soon after her arrival 
in Liverpool :— 

*' Your letter this morning was a great com* 
fort and stirrer up. Oh, how I have asked not 
to be allowed to forget God in this work ! I 
cannot write all my doubts and fears and diffi- 
culties. I can only look at Moses and Joshua, 
and how they were helped when sent to so 
great a work, and say to myself, over and over 
again, ' Only be thou strong, and very coura- 
geous, for the Lord thy God is with thee,* and 
I try not to fear, but to meet everything as it 
comes. No one can conceive how cut off I 
shall be from any human help in many ways ; 
so many important steps must be taken alone 
with God, if He gives wisdom." 

In order to brighten up her rooms, and give 
a homelike comfort and elegance to them, Mr. 
and Mrs. Rathbone, sen., Mr. and Mrs. W. 
Rathbone, and some members of Mr. Cropper's 


family filled them with various articles of furni- 
ture, which acquired more and more value in 
her eyes as her personal feeling of regard and 
friendship for the generous donors increased 
with longer acquaintance. At first she was 
almost overwhelmed by such unexpected, and, 
as she thought, undeserved gifts. In writing 
to tell us of them, she says, *' I felt half inclined 
to cry when Mr. R. enumerated the presents, 
all so handsome and useful. I was so humbled 
I could have sunk into the earth. I suppose 
the feeling is partly pride, the extreme dislike 
and sensitiveness I have to any obligation ; but 
all this makes me feel as if people expected so 
much of me, this repaying beforehand of what I 
am expected to be and to do, and to which I 
may never attain. Supposing, what is quite 
possible, I turn out incapable of conducting the 
scheme, and have to be replaced, not for any 
fault, but merely for want of the necessary 
governing and organizing power, I shall feel 
like the originator of the South Sea bubble, for 
allowing people to be deluded by false expecta- 
tions. I should equally dislike any future testi- 


monial, but I could bear it more patiently had 
I been at work and done something. When 
anything goes wrong, I shall look round on my 
furniture as if each thing were an accusing 

No materials exist, either in letters or memo- 
randa, which will enable me to give a history 
of the work which Agnes attempted and accom- 
plished in the Liverpool workhouse. Her life 
there was too busy a one to allow time for 
much writing, and her home-letters dwelt on 
the little details which she knew would interest 
us, and give no idea of the greatness of her 
undertakings or her plan of operation. The 
hope, therefore, entertained by those who origi- 
nally suggested the idea of this memoir, that 
some history of the results of her work, some 
suggestions as to the way in which it was 
conducted, some idea of the general organiza- 
tion might be obtained, which would serve as a 
help to others treading in the same path, must 
be renounced. That she had thought over the 
subject, and formed very decided opinions as to 
the relative merits of different organizations 


and administrations, we know, but she never 
had time to express these on paper ; her letters 
and her diary, both hastily written, (for time 
was very precious during those three last years,) 
give no idea of the immense work she orga- 
nized, or of her practical ability and great 
business powers. It has even been thought 
and suggested, by one for whose opinion I have 
great respect, that the deficiency which must 
arise because of this, is a reason why this 
memoir should not be published, and that it 
will tend to " lower the vague but yet high 
appreciation which does exist in the minds of 
many as to what she accomplished in the 
Liverpool workhouse.'* I trust that the exist- 
ence of her work, recognized by all who take 
an interest in the subject of workhouse-nursing, 
will obviate this danger. The memoir has been 
compiled, not for the benefit of poor-law boards 
and boards of guardians, but for Christian 
women, who, reading the story of her consistent 
•7alk in paths of no ordinary difficulty, and 
moved by the example of unwavering devotion 
to her heavenly Master's work, may go and do 


One of my aunts wrote, about this time, to 
ask Mr. Falloon to call on her, knowing how 
she would value his visits. Agnes writes in 
reply : — 

** I am so grateful to you for having written 
to Mr. F., as I had been longing to see him, 
but did not know how to introduce myself, or 
let him hear of me. The fewer visitors I have 
the better, but I want one or two choice ones 
to help me in the best way, and if he will kindly 
sometimes think of me, it will be a great privi- 
lege. I now spend about three hours daily 
going my rounds of the wards, which does not 
give long to each ; and as I have not yet 
assumed the reins, I cannot do anything, not 
even sit down to read to a patient, but I get a 
few words to most, and I think already many 
look for me. There is so much that is very 
sad which one realizes more when inactive 
in the way of remedy, but, I hope, we shall be 
able to lessen many evils in time ; slowly and 
gradually it must be. I hear few complaints, 
and I have very few requests, these chiefly for 
paper and stamps to write to friends, and I 


receive many respectful nod« from my country- 
men. There is one very large ward entirely 
Roman Catholic, and on my first visit, I had so 
many questions to answer, ' Are you a Catholic ?' 
etc. etc., as no other visitors are admitted. I 
see many, in various directions, reading their 
Bibles, and have met several who seem indeed 
to rejoice in them. One dear bright little child 
especially, who is one mass of sores, always 
looks so happy, and his large eyes dance with 
delight as he repeats hymns, etc. He speaks 
so imperfectly that I cannot ask him much, 
indeed my deafness makes me lose a good deal. 
There are many poor blacks here ; one has died 
since I came; severe colds are so fatal to them. 
One man from Manilla is dying, and only one 
of the patients can understand his language. 
There are many idiots and old people in their 
dotage ; one keeps a birch rod under his pillow 
which he daily presents to me, with a long 
speech ; others cry, if spoken \o kindly. I feel 
daily more and more glad of the work in pro- 
spect; it is such a field of usefulness, if God only 
bl^ss us in it, ^ind I f^el sure He will dp so. Fe\y 


have had such a very happy life as I have, and 
it is happier every year. Now mothers health 
is an anxiety, but I try to feel the keeping, both 
for her and me, while we are absent from each 
other, and yet it is such a blessing to feel I have 
such a loving mother, even far away. 

April iSth, 1865. 

" Isaiah xlii. 16. 
** I know not the way I am going. 

But well do I know my Guide ; 
With a child-like trust I give my hand 

To the mighty Friend by my side. 
The only thing that I say to Him 
As he takes it, is, * Hold it fast, 
Suflfer me not to lose my way, 
And bring me home at last.' 

" As when some helpless wanderer, 

Alone in an unknown land. 
Tells the guide his destined place of rest, 

And leaves all else in his hand : 
•Tis home, *tis home that we wish to reach, 

He Who guides us may choose the way ; 
Little we heed the path we take, 

If nearer hpme each day." 

*' I am learning this hymn, it seems so suit- 
able to me. To-day in one ward lay a poor 
black man ; the dews of death were on his faco, 


and his poor parched lir? and gasping breath 
told the same tale. Ob ; how I longed to go 
and nurse him. I was able to say a few words 
to him of Jesus. He said he was so weak, but 
I told how Jesus could tell the secret of the 
heart, and accept the weakest longing. Oh ! 
the loneliness of these sick-beds. Oh ! the 
many, many wants. How we shall need strength 
and hope and faith in God ! Then the thought 
which every one repeats, that 'nobody ever 
comes into a place like this but by their own 
fault,' meaning idleness or sin. A hospital is 
sad enough, but a workhouse ! It almost seems 
as if over so many of those beds * no hope ' 
must be written with reference to this world. 
Friendless, hopeless. If in this life only ye 
have hope, ye are of all men most miserable. 
How we shall need the love of Christ to con- 
strain us in our work, to be as He would have 
us be with those poor sufferers, not as man 
would have us ! To-day I was only in the 
medical wards. A Frenchman, who does not 
speak English, much enjoyed a talk. He so 
brightened up and made me such a French 


salute as I moved on. I gave him paper for 
writing, and he seemed quite joyous with the 
thought of the answer. An ItaHan was much 
cheered by my telHng him I knew Naples well. 
Oh ! if God gives me power to bring a little 
brightness to some, what a blessing it will be ! 
I had some talk with a man who seemed to 
feel his need of Jesus, and yet was confused 
about the way. I gave him two thoughts, ^ Be- 
hold the Lamb of God which taketh away the 
sin of the world,' and 'Jesus died for me.' I 
was rather horror-struck to hear that a police- 
man goes every night through the wards to 
keep order. The feeling remained of the class 
of insubordinates one would have to control. 
How earnestly I desire they may be the better 
of our coming here ! Six hundred patients de- 
pendent for comfort on me and my staff ! * I 
will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.' ' Our 
eyes wait upon Thee, O Lord.' " 

'^ May yd, — Yesterday I was in bed all day 
with a heavy cold. No one but Mary came 
near me all day, but she was most attentive. 
At times I realised the isolation of my ppsitign, 


Yet the great Friend is ever near, nothing can 
separate from Him. Strength seems more given 
me to leave off looking at the work as a great 
whole, at the issue expected and hoped for — 
success in the eyes of man, — and I see more 
daily of the benefit we cannot help being to 
individuals in many little things. I trust that 
He Who of such little things says, * done unto 
Me,' will accept them ; and if it be His will, 
build these little single bricks up into a vast 
edifice, of which He will be the foundation and 
top-stone, and all to His honour and glory, and 
for the good of the thousands who, from these 
sad, sad workhouses, cry day and night to Him. 
And thus He can give us success, and will it 
not come more surely than if I carry that bur- 
den of care ? How will men see this ? How 
will it succeed as a whole ? Shall I not go on 
far more joyfully if T receive from Him the 
daily little joys of these small comforts to many 
single sufferers, thanking Him for being enabled 
to do a little, and yet in His strength doing all 
I can r 

During this interval of waiting for the begin- 



ning of her work — for the trained nurses had 
not yet arrived — Agnes wrote the following 
letter to Mrs. Pennefather, which is interesting, 
as giving her views with regard to sisterhoods, 
a subject so widely discussed in the present 
day, and involving a question of such vital 
importance to unemployed and lonely women. 
It must be remembered, however, that she is 
not here planning a new institution, but recom- 
mending the modification of one already esta- 
blished. She, therefore, touches on one or two 
points only in the existing arrangements where 
she thought alteration might be beneficial. 

" Liverpool Workhouse, Mai/ iithf 1865. 

" Dearest Mrs. Pennefather, — I sit down 
to answer yours at once, as I have time now 
which I may not have again for week?. : We have 
not yet begun. I have been living here nearly 
a month, but have weekly to put off my staff, 
their rooms not being ready. We hope de* 
cidedly to begin on the i6th. I go daily to the 
wards to see the poor patients, and am on the 
spot when wanted about arrangements ; this, 


and preparing a lending library, is the extent 
of my work at present. I do not feel the time 
lost. I feel quite at home here now, and am 
pretty much so in the wards, though not able 
to do anything, not being in office yel. It 
is more trying work, however, than if I felt 
something were doing. I see so much that 
needs a remedy, and can only sometimes give a 
little hint how to make a sufferer easier, or do 
it myself. But the scenes of various kinds, 
and the many deaths, are very sad, and I feel 
very much the absolute prohibition to say a 
word to the Roman Catholics. My question 
about the separate wards for Protestants and 
Roman Catholics, has been decided for me. 
One of the guardians, whom I asked, thought 
it would involve endless difficulties. Thank 
you so much for wishing to help me in it. 
I look often to you ; on many points it- seems 
as if I could ask no one else, and your letters 
always help me so much, if only by their sym- 
pathy. It often seems strange that I, who 
have so little self-reliance, and would like every 
step directed, am obliged to take such an inde- 

X 2 


pendent position ; and yet I have been so led on 
that I could not help it, and I only trust I may 
be more and more led to look to the guidance of 
the Ever-present and All-wise Heavenly Friend. 
But perhaps to no one are letters such a boon. 
So cut off from personal intercourse with my 
dearest friends, I cling to their letters, and 
often a letter has been God's messenger to 
bring me brightness when all seemed dark and 
trying. I have so often to thank Him for let- 
ters coming just when needed. To any one here 
I must be very reserved about my work and 
difficulties, even had I any one who could enter 
into the work heartily so as to understand, but 
-i great deal of mischief might be done by re- 
peating what I said. I did not sit down to 
write about self, however, but about Deaconess 
work. I feel more and more anxious that 
you and dear Mr. Pennefather should see an 
opening for your having some training-school 
for Christian women of all ranks. Many cir- 
cumstances make me increasingly feel the ne- 
cessity of some such institution. I believe there 
are many women of all ages longing for work, 


who cannot from position or character seek it 
for themselves. Many need guidance and di- 
rection : all want training and help. I know 

at many came to seek it, and of those 

who remained, some felt much that while they 
found work and certain help, they did not find 
heart-teaching and help heavenward. I believe 
in other High Church sisterhoods there are 
many such, and yet where can earnest women 
go ? There is no Evangelical home : your 
name would attract many. There could be no 
suspicion as to the religious party. I had some 

talk with the other day. He thinks the 

way the Deaconess work will best take root in 
England, is from some one centre institution, 
which will train workers and send them out. 
I agree with him that many separate institu- 
tions are just battling the question over and 
over again w^ithout result, and the fruit of one 
where the question had been practically worked 
out, would be the best answer to prejudice. 

But I do not agree with him that is fitted 

to be that head. I believe the head of such an 
institution must be more decided than he is Tas 


appears to me) in religious views. I believe no 
untried worker, however earnest, would do, and 
no one whose religious character is not of the 
highest stamp. One who is firm in his reli- 
gious views, and yet not narrow-minded in any- 
thing, with cultivated and practical mind and 
unlimited power of sympathy. But while there 
must be a certain liberty of opinion in minor 
points, I cannot ever think too ' liberal ' a head 
will do. This seems to me so often the expression 
for those who have not made up their own minds, 
and therefore cannot certainly direct those of 
others. But what I feel so much is, how many 
there are who want some place where they can 
get teaching for their own hearts and souls, train* 
ing for and direction in work for others, sympa- 
thy in that work and their difficulties in it, and 
a home where in their leisure hours they may 
have more or less association with others. I 
believe many older people want this as a home, 
and many younger, who would go for a time 
for training, which they are anxious to have 
for work near home. I have learnt two things 
which mak^ me most anxious about this. 



Learning from real workers helps one ver) 
much, but not before one knows the work. 
When you have tried and felt your weak points, 
and when you are working and daily meet diffi- 
culties, then a few words with some sympa- 
thizing worker are a great help, and sometimes 
throw a new light on the whole subject. Many 
want their powers drawn out ; they feel a power 
they fear to try, and require advice and di* 

'' But there is another and a very strong point 
— the shrinking many have from coming for- 
ward even in good works. I think this needs 
to be carefully dealt with, there is such mis- 
chief in any combating it. I believe that feel- 
ing is a great safeguard, if only kept in its place. 
Association of workers will help to do this, and 
so will working under direction ; but, as I know 
painfully, no one can tell what a woman ex- 
poses herself to who acts independently. I 
never would advise any one to do as I have 
done, and yet I can feel I have been led on 
step by step, almost unwillingly, certainly not 
as I should have chosen, had I not seemed 


guided, and I believe have been, and so kept. 
But there is much one shrinks from, and 
while often much to humble, yet a great deal 
to puff up, much to which a member of a body 
would not be exposed. When one seeks train- 
ing in other than a Christian home, there is in 
public institutions so much to keep back, and 
so little to foster spiritual growth. To learn to 
work in any way, one must now in England go 
where there is no teaching, no help outwardly ; 
cut off from every human teacher and friend, 
and the want of every refinement in surround- 
ings, and of every source of knowledge of even 
the good going on in the world around. All 
this makes one^s own world so narrow, that in 
spite of deep interest in the work, there are 
times when one either feels alone, or as if very 
self-denying. It makes a cause for trial which 
takes another form in a community, but is not 
the same. The temptations in communities 
are to jealousy and envy, and yet perhaps one 
more feels both one's own power and what 
one lacks, than in independent work ; but I 
do not think there is the same daily and hourly 


difficulty about what is one's duty and work, 
which many shrink from and meet by doing no- 
thing. Those who persevere learn in the school of 
mistakes, — an invaluable school, but slow train- 
ing. All these things you know far better than I; 
but as I daily and hourly feel them, I long for 
a more ^ royal road * for many ardent and weak 
ones, many who for years perhaps are kept back 
from doing anything ; many who die without 
ever going beyond the wish to do something. 
I know parents whose young people want work 
for God, w^ho would gladly send them some- 
where for a time to be trained ; I know grown- 
up women, not far advanced in Christian life, 
w^ho would like to do a little under direction ; 
and I know some who have gone, almost 
against their principles, into sisterhoods be- 
cause they cannot get what they want else- 
where. Surely all these want help. I always 
so feel you could give it, if the way were 
opened. I do not know what you think of dea- 
conesses. I think the reality might be had 
without the dress or name. The difficulty is 
the real submission of will there must be. I 


believe this is the valuable part of the training. 
It is hard to get it, but I believe it could be 
given to a really superior head : this makes it so 
needful, that the character of that head should 
be in every way above those governed. I be- 
lieve all I owe to Kaiserswerth was comprised 
in the lesson of unquestioning obedience. I 
tried to do everything I was desired, no matter 
how impossible it seemed, and found often less 
difficulty than I anticipated; or if I did not 
succeed, the pastor's lesson on the failure, its 
cause, etc., was most valuable. I am sure I 
should never have obeyed this call, if I had not 
begun at Kaiserswerth ; and so I believe many 
characters might be moulded in many ways ; 
not, perhaps, for years of work under your in- 
stitution, but for work in their various homes 
and neighbourhoods. My idea, as you ask it, 
is not to begin with a sisterhood, but a home 
for ladies who must submit to certain rules and 
government. ... I used to think people could 
work on for ever; now I am sure a certain 
amount of quiet and recreation is needed, and 
makes one work better with less strain. I 


think, with very sHght variation, your present 
system would suit; and then, if after a time 
any wished to devote themselves more en- 
tirely, the question of deaconesses would arise. 
In your large parish you could have a great 
variety of work ; more distinct nursing, or other 
training, would come later. My idea of begin- 
ning is more the work any lady might have in 
her own neighbourhood on her return home 
after a time with you. I really must apologize 
for this letter. I have written on, often inter- 
rupted, and forgetting what I had said, and so 
it has grown. My only excuse must be my 
deep feeling of longing for more labourers, and 
wiser and better ones. I so deeply feel how 
few get training for that work which, of all work, 
needs it. I often think of Dorothea Trudel's 
last prayer for and with me, ' that I might be a 
polished stone, fit for the Master's use.* He 
must polish and use us, but I believe He uses 
means of fitting, and wills us to use them as 
given. How many unhewn stones there are 
which seem to need but a little fashioning, and 
^hall we offer to Him that which costs us no* 


thing? It is such an honour to be used by 
Him, — should we not seek it, not to add to our 
own crown, but His ? It seems a new hope that 
something will be done for training workers, 
which I so often long and pray for. I shall 
always be so glad to hear of anything being 
attempted. Pray for me, dearest friend, as I 
do often for you, and with deepest gratitude 
for your love and sympathy. 

** Ever yours, most affectionately, 

''Agnes E. Jones.'* 

In a letter to my aunt of the same date, she 
writes : — 

'* I am much amused at every one endeavour- 
ing to impress me with the magnitude of the 
undertaking, as if I had not rather to struggle 
against the realization. I am trying and suc- 
ceeding more and more in fixing my eyes on 
all the little things we shall be able to do. I 
believe in this is our safety, doing the daily 
littles as opportunity is given, and leaving the 
issue with God. It is the individual influence 
we shall have, the individual relief and the in- 


dividual help for mind and body, that will be 
ours. If it is His will, He can make others 
see the many littles as one great whole, or they 
may see nothing done, w^hile we have the com- 
fort of the littles we know have been done. I 
always feel any work seems more trying to out- 
siders than it really is. We can talk of our 
trials, but all the little helps that so comfort 
us, and come as sunbeams, however transitor\% 
just when we need them, these we only keep 
as aur own, and go back on them in memory 
when clouds are thickening again. These help 
me now when I look forward. I know God will 
send what is needed. Some lovely flowers have 
come from Greenbank, just when I was think- 
ing I must throw out those I brought from 
New Brighton ; so even this want is met al- 
most before felt. Certainly, it is wonderful 
how God cares for me in the least thing." 

And now at last all was ready, and the day 
arrived on which the nurses were expected. 
An anxious one it must have been to her, and 
not without its special trials. She had been 
very careful not to lend any tracts or leaflets 


in the wards, as she felt that +o begin with 
what might be objected to before her position 
was estabhshed, would be unwise ; but a friend 
had given her some books and magazines for 
distribution among the patients, and she had 
gladly carried out the wishes of the kind giver. 
This morning of the i6th May, however, it was 
intimated to her that she must lend books 
henceforth only through the chaplain. The 
order fell chillingly on her eager desire to give 
some new pleasure and interest to the poor 
lonely ones in their hours of dreary sickness, 
but of course she had no choice but to submit. 
The party of nurses arrived from London a few 
hours later, twelve Nightingale nurses and seven 
probationers. The next afternoon the work 
began in earnest. One of the great difficulties 
of the first year arose from the character of 
the . ex-pauper w^omen who were brought into 
the hospital from the other departments of the 
workhouse, to be trained under the nurses. 
Rough, coarse women they were, and appa- 
rently incapable of receiving instruction ; be- 
sides, their habits of intemperance led them 


astray whenever the slightest liberty was al- 
lowed ; so at last, after some months of uphill 
work and continual disappointment, the plan 
had to be given up. On the 22nd May Agnes 
wrote home : — 

'' We are getting on delightfully so far, and I 
am very well, and scarcely tired, though I have 
had and have heavy head and leg-work, which 
will, however, get lighter every day. I have no 
time for letters or for reading, — ^just one verse 
at night. That on Friday, our first day, was 
so appropriate (Nehemiah ix. 21), ^ Yea, forty 
^ears did Thou sustain them in the wilderness, 
so that they lacked nothing ; their clothes waxed 
not old, and their feet swelled not.' I was at 
the moment wondering how well my poor feet 
felt after about fifty ascents of seventy stairs, 
which I had had in the hours of placing my 
staff; each set to be put separately into their 
charge, and I had to run up and down with 
each. I arranged for them to come up in 
parties ; but brainless people make such stupid 
mistakes, I found in the end I had to come 
down myself. The whole thing seems now 


really manageable to what I expected. Clouds 
are rising, but as ' Hitherto ' the Lord will 
help. Mrs. R., whom I met at Barnet, called 
to-day, chiefly to tell me she had heard from a 
poor woman in her district how nicely her hus- 
band was getting on here, and how comfort- 
able everything was since the London nurses 
came. Our poor little boys, too, are so happy , 
before, they were often maltreated by the at- 

'* June ^th. — I had a very pleasant Bible-class 
yesterday afternoon for my nurses, delightful to 
me, if not to them. To-day I had a visit from 
a Roman Catholic lady, who was very cordial ; 
she said she so rejoiced in our work, and wished 
us every blessing. She is a lady visitor here, I 

*' June 22nd. — I sent half of my party to-day 
to New Brighton — the invalids and night nurses; 
they enjoy it much, and it does them all good. 
The submission of the patients now is most 
amusing. If I give a lecture in a ward for dis- 
order of any kind, I soon get a message they 
are * So sorry they upset the Lady Superin- 


tendent;* and with medicines, dressings, etc., 
they may rebel, but if ^ the Lady says so,' 
they submit at once. I have not to be sum- 
moned so often as before, the threat is enough ; 
and yet patients, as v^ell as nurses^ feel they can 
have redress of any grievance by an appeal to 
me. 1 had such a grateful message from the 
poor infirm, for getting them good bread. I 
am so sorry to be able to do so little, but 
they are surprised at my being early and late 
among them." 

Her day was, indeed, no idle one. At 5. 30 
A.M. she went in her dressing-gown to unlock 
the doors for the kitchen-women. At 6 she rang 
the bell for the nurses and probationers ; at 6.30 
all assembled for prayers in the nurses' sitting-- 
room. At 7 the breakfast began. Often she 
made a round of the wards at 6 ; and if there 
was any anxious case, she would be up two or 
three times in the night. After ^^ a race round 
the wards to see that all the breakfasts are cor^ 
rect," she came to her own at the head of the 
table, where nurses, probationers, assistants 
and scourers were seated. At 7.30 she gave the 



orders for the da}^, and then made another 
round of the wards. Then giving out stores 
occupied her till the first dinner began at 12. 
She was always present herself, carved for the 
nurses and probationers, and dined with them. 
When we wrote to remonstrate with her for 
not having rest and quiet even at her meals, 
she answered that the moral influence of her 
presence in such a mixed community, she con- 
sidered not the least important part of her 
day's work. Besides, she felt there was much 
for the superior nurses to bear, on first coming 
to a workhouse hospital, where the class of 
patients was much lower than those they had 
been accustomed to ; and she wished, wherever 
it was possible, by sharing their labours and 
identifying herself with their life, to help them 
through the trials and difficulties of their new 
position. Occasional visits to individual pa- 
tients, giving out stores, and attending to calls 
innumerable, occupied the afternoon. After 
presiding at tea at 4, she returned to the 
Wards, to see how the dressing was done. And 
here her practical knowledge of nursing-work 


enabled her to direct the nurses and teach the 
probationers, and gave her weight with both, 
which was invaluable to her authority. At 9 
o'clock the night nurses went on duty, and she 
visited the wards to see that each was at her 
post. Prayers were at 9.30, after which the 
day nurses went to bed ; but another round of 
the wards was still before Agnes, and it was 
generally after 11 before she could go to her 
own room, and feel she might lie down to rest 
with her work for the day done. There was a 
great deal of illness among her nurses during the 
first year, fever and small-pox ; and the anxiety 
about these cases pressed often painfully upon 
her. The responsibility, too, attached to so 
vast an undertaking, at times weighed down 
her spirits ; the depressing influence of a work- 
house in its outward, and still more in its 
moral aspect, the isolation from friends and re- 
latives, and all the pleasures and comforts of 
social life, and besides all this, difficulties in 
the work itself, and opposition and trial from 
some who might have been expected to uphold 
her authority and strengthen her hands. It is 

Y 2 


wonderful to see how brightly, as a rule, she 
looks upon the work ; at times, indeed, we find 
expressions in journal and letter indicating ex- 
treme depression ; but this was as much phy- 
sical as mental ; and as they occur more fre- 
quently in the third year of her labours in 
Liverpool, we may well believe that they may 
be generally, if not always, traced to over- 
fatigue of mind and body. In the end of Oc- 
tober, 1865, my mother and I spent a few days 
in Liverpool on our return from the Continent. 
As we drove through the gloomy gates and up 
the narrow road between high walls which led 
to her apartments, the contrast to her sweet 
country home, with its lovely scenes and pure 
mountain breezes, and all that had been such 
a delight to her, struck us painfully ; but once 
in her rooms, where she greeted us with a face 
more radiant than ever, it was impossible to 
look at her and pity her. She was the pic- 
ture of happiness, and evidently delighted in 
her work, finding pleasure in every proof, how- 
ever small, that through her or her staff, more 
of physical, as well as moral and spiritual good, 


had been brought to those under her care. 
Early in the summer she began Sunday even- 
ing readings in one of the wards where there 
were none but Protestants. She could not be 
ignorant that Roman Catholics did attend ; but 
as they came uninvited, she did not consider 
herself called upon to exclude them. This 
class she continued to the end. I shall never 
forget the one at which I was present. We 
came into the ward where about twenty pa- 
tients were in bed, a few minutes before the 
appointed hour. Agnes passed at once to her 
seat at the top of the room, and sat quietly 
reading her Bible until the clock struck. In 
the meantime the room had filled ; on each bed 
men were seated closely packed together, others 
standing by the wall or grouped around, and 
there they stood in almost painful silence until 
the end. I never saw more attentive listeners. 
She began with a short prayer ; then read part 
of a chapter, on which she commented in very 
simple but striking words, closing with a prac- 
tical application and earnest personal appeal to 
the hearts of all present. After reading a hymn 


she again prayed, and so ended the class. As 
we left the room, the respectful demeanour of 
the men struck me very much ; and during the 
reading I saw one or two who came in late, 
had taken off their shoes lest they should dis- 
turb her. She had also every Sunday a Bible- 
class for her nurses ; the notes of her prepara- 
tion for both these show great care and thought. 
Nov. loth she writes: — ''We are feeling the 
approach of winter, for our wards are filling 
fast. On Wednesday I went out to Dingle 
Bank at 5, and drove in with the C.'s to Mr. 
Birrell's lecture, where I met my nurses and 
returned with them. We had a beautiful ser- 
mon on the fruits of the Spirit, and last night 
Mr. Lockhart's address was most helpful on 
being ' rooted in Christ.' I do not knov/ when 
I so enjoyed two lectures ; sent, I am sure, to 
make up to me for my Sunday, which seemed 
lost. I had a bad headache, and could not get 
out in the evening, the only service where I 
can hear. I had eighty at my Bible-class, but 
it was all I was equal to for the afternoon. 
We are very busy, having more people than 


room. I had forty children under twelve sent 
in to me one day, and we had to clear a large 
ward for them ; but they are over-crowded, 
twenty-two being the licensed number for the, 
room. You can fancy the nestf. of them, two 
beds being put together, and two children at 
the head and two at the foot. The children 
have only sore eyes, and you may imagine the 
spirits and noise of a healthy set of forty boys. 
However, they are very good considering all 
things, and I have provided slates and books 
to amuse them. When I appear there is a ge- 
neral cry of, ' Please lady !' They now know 
they must obey ; as one morning, finding they 
would not keep quiet till 7 o'clock, I kept back 
their breakfast till ten ; but even when only 
quietly talking, the noise of forty tongues is 

A few days later : — 

** I have now sixty children under twelve, so 
I have turned them into an empty ward. You 
should hear the singing and rejoicing; after 
many days in their beds, such excitement at 
getting up." 


'* I am almost distracted between sickness 
and anxiety and drunkenness. I have one 
head nurse in great danger, and much anxiety 
about her sister, who is with her, and almost 
worn out with sorrow and watching. Then 
these eX'pauper women whom we are training, 
were paid their wages on Friday, and the next 
day five came in tipsy. It is so disappointing ; 
some who had done well for six months, and 
of whom I had hopes. How little I can do ! 
yet the hewers of wood and drawers of water 
had an office in the work of the sanctuary, and 
so, perhaps, may I.** 

In the midst of all this pressure Christmas 
came, and Agnes found time and leisure to de- 
vise and arrange some little treat for all, nurses 
and patients. It was one of the characteristics 
of her work that she never overlooked the in- 
dividual in the community, but cared for the 
pleasure of each, as if they stood alone. She 
had great faith in the softening influence of 
happiness, and her tender heart went out in 
active sympathy for those who, immured for 
life in those hospital wards, had ceased to eX' 


pect that brightness or gladness could ever 
come to them. One of her nurses writes of 
her: — ''She was so thoughtful of our comfort 
in every way. If flowers were brought to her, 
she would be sure to supply us before she 
thought of herself, fond of flowers as she was. 
Every Saturday she went round every ward, and 
took suitable books for the patients to have to 
read on Sunday. I often think how closely she 
followed her Saviour in leaving her home, where 
she might have had so many comforts, and yet 
she left it to associate with the poorest and lowest 
of mankind. I feel it was the greatest honour 
the Lord could have conferred on me, when He 
led m)^ steps towards her. It was my happy 
lot to receive from her my first lesson in nurs- 
ing at St. Thomas's Hospital, and I shall never 
forget her kindness to me then. She seemed 
to have sympathy for every one, especially for 
those she knew had just left their homes. 
When we came to Liverpool, we did not ex- 
pect to find her as we had found her at St. 
Thomas's, although we had a very great desire 
to live with her, feeling sure we should be with 


a just person and a Christian ; but we soon 
found we had not half known her before. You 
know we entered here amid great difficulty, 
but with her help and love we were able to 
surmount it all. Before she took us into the 
wards, she commended us all to God in prayer, 
and besought His blessing and help in the 
work. That was the secret of her success in 
everything. She took all to Jesus, and always 
exhorted us to do the same. During the first 
year, when the staff was smaller, she made a 
practice of visiting our rooms every Saturday 
and Sunday evening after prayers, for the pur- 
pose of speaking to us about Jesus. If she had 
had occasion to scold us in the week, she was 
sure to remember it, and would say, ^ Do not 
think I don^t love you because I scold you ; if 
I did not love you so much, I should not take 
that trouble with you.' She never would allow 
the smallest fault to go unreproved. If ever 
she made a mistake (she would not have been 
human had she not done so sometimes), she 
would come and beg our pardon, as if we had 
been over her, instead of her over us. It has 


often surprised me, the thought she had for 
all. There seemed not one forgotten. If there 
were several of us sick, she would go into 
the wards as usual and be busy with her work, 
but she would not forget to keep running 
down to see if the invalids were having all they 
required. Often, if she had nurses on duty she 
did not think quite up to their work, she would 
get up and go through the wards several times 
in the night. She was so anxious always to 
bear burdens for us. I have often told her 
that I believed we wtve a hindrance to her ; 
for instead of holding up her hands, we were 
hanging on her, and bearing her down. She 
was so fond of bearing our troubles for us, as 
far as it was possible, and I think she fell under 
the burden of them. If she had brought us a 
letter in the morning, and saw us afterwards 
looking sad, she would take hold of our hand 
so affectionately, and say, ' I hope you have 
not had bad news, child.' If she thought one 
looked ill, she would say, ' You are not well,^ 
or, ' You look tired, child.' If we went to her 
in trouble, we could not come away from her 


with the same feeHng we went in with ; she 
would always take the opportunity of pointing 
us to the Burden-bearer. Often, when I have 
gone to her with any complaint, or something 
I have told her I could not do^ she would say, 
* Have you told Jesus so V There lay the 
secret of all her love and care and thoughtful- 
ness. She never thought she had made a sa- 
crifice in coming here, as she said she had never 
been so happy in her life. I feel it will be the 
greatest honour the Lord can confer on me, if 
He permits me to finish my course in the work 
she loved so well. I fear I often err by being 
impatient to wait the time till I shall see her 

1866 dawned amid new anxieties, but the 
trusting heart ever turned to the never-failing 
source of strength and comfort. A few extracts 
from her journal will show how she delighted 
to trace God's loving hand in the little plea- 
sures which now and then came to cheer dark 
and lonely days. Her delight in flowers was 
very great, and many times did she learn a 
lesson from these silent preachers. The kind 


friends who from time to time sent the trea- 
sures of their gardens and greenhouses to 
brighten her rooms, will find in the day when 
a cup of cold water, given to one of Christ's 
little ones, is remembered, that they shall in 
nowise lose their reward. To a friend who 
was very dear and very helpful to her, she 
writes : — 

^*Your lovely flowers have been telling me 
all evening that God is love, and that He loves 
me. They have been His messenger and yours. 
They seem almost too pure and lovely for earth, 
and yet they will fade, but He is unchangeable. 
This is such comfort. I could not tell you what 

-'s death has been to me, and I scarcely 

knew how rebellious I was against Him till my 
flowers told me. They began, * He careth for 
you,* and taught me the rest of the verse. I 
could not have borne even from you the flowers' 
soothing and sympathy, for I could not tell you 
all. It seemed to me at times yesterday as if 
He were blowing upon my work, but now I 
think it is not mine, but His. If He blow 
upon my part of it, He will keep His own, and 


He put me here. The Psalm last night at 
prayers was indeed for me, — -Psalm xxvii. I 
have not learned ail my flowers' lesson yet ; 
but when I am busy, I think of them as dear 
friends waiting in my room to help me.'' 

Again : — *^ I have had such delight in some 
mosses and fungi Mrs. James Cropper sent me 
from Kendal in a little box by post ; they are 
so like my own mountains, as well as so lovely 
in themselves. I wish I could show you my 
.saucer of beauties ; you never saw a more per- 
fect little collection to lie on half this sheet of 
paper: the leaf moss, the cup moss, a few 
fronds of tiny fern, and some bright fungi; so 
exquisite, you could fancy yourself alone on the 
mountain-top with them. I have had some 
very great trials as well as pleasures lately, 
but I was trying to balance to-day, and I am 
sure the latter preponderate. Clouds and sun* 
shine so alternate in my life, that you could 
scarcely sympathize with one before a change 
comes. I have now more than a hundred at 
my Sunday class, and really if I lift my eyes, 
their earnest looks and fixed gaze almost over* 


come me. It is a great responsibility. I was 
SO amused at the old men the other day call- 
ing themselves my children. Many of the pa- 
tients look on me as a kind of house-surgeon. 
I go to see and direct the dressings with the 
worst cases, and sometimes do the thing my- 
self to show how. The other day a man asked 
me to come every day and dress his foot ; it 
had been ^ so much better since I had been at 
it.' I have a reading for the probationers every 
week on medical subjects, but it is a great 
anxiety to me to think how little they know as 
yet. This morning I have been much with a 
poor dying thief who is in the agonies of lock- 
jaw. He seems to try to pray, and to like me 
to speak to him. I think he would tell me his 
history if he could ; but speaking is difficult, 
and the paroxysms come so frequently. We 
have all great enjoyment in the Thursday even* 
ing lectures at Hope Hall. Mr, Lockhart 
is so earnest and simple. On Good Friday I 
read aloud in the evening to the men in one 
of the wards, and they seemed to enjoy it so 
much, that I promised them an hour every 


Friday evening at six. Last Sunday I gave 
them a lecture on swearing, taking Psalm 139, 
and dwelling on the verse, * Thine enemies 
take Thy name in vain.' Upwards of one hun- 
dred were present, and most attentive." 
March 31st she wrote to my aunt : — 
*' Dearest Aunt. — This day last year I ar- 
rived in Liverpool. I cannot believe it ; time 
has flown and yet much has happened. The re- 
view is one of a varied kind. I have not done all 
I hoped, and yet my brightest visions of earthly 
success have been more than realized. While 
I have done little for God, He has made my 
way prosperous. It has been a wonderfully 
smooth way, when I consider all there was to 
contend against. But how much I might have 
done, how much I intended to do, and never 
even attempted, is known only to God. I be- 
lieve there is ground for my justly claiming 
man's approval, but how very differently would 
a report be drawn up for God's work here ! 
Even our outward work is not all it ought to 
be ; but, as I said before, there is much cause 
for thankfulness. There is a wide field for use- 


fulness and need for sympathy around me; in 
this respect the castles built last year are in 
ruins now. The materials still lie scattered 
around, save what has mouldered away while 
awaiting the worker. I am sure I ought to 
make more time for the only lasting work. 
Sunday w^ork is all that consecrates and re- 
deems my work from being wholly worldly. I 
often wonder if you will see me changed when 
you come — an old mother with nearly six hun- 
dred children. How many to present to the 
Giver ? Only one that I know of . . . 

^' Your own loving 

'' Agnes.'* 

'* May 2nd. — The last fortnight every care 
has been lessened by the thought of a week 
with mother and J. in Dublin. It has seemed 
to me a lesson of w^hat the Christian's hope 
ought to be — powerful in making all present 
trial light." 

'' May 8th, 1866.— To-day and yesterday the 
prospect of leaving seemed most uncertain. A 
cholera case was brought in, for which we had 



to clear No. 4 Medical Ward. Notice was 
given that more were expected. The first 
case was a Dane emigrating with wife, baby, 
two little children, and a boy of nine. He 
died last night, and the poor widow is sad 

''May 10th. — Notice yesterday to clear an- 
other ward, and before night we had the wife 
and children of Petersen the Dane, two Dutch- 
men with their wives, babies, and four other 
children, and a poor man whose wife died here 
of cholera, with an infant and two little chil- 
dren under five. He is in great distress, as is 
also the other father, whose child died ; the 
meeting between husband and wife was most 
affecting. He was so grateful for a little milk 
for the children. To-day all sat round the 
table for dinner, but none would begin till the 
father asked a blessing." 

'' Last week we had two cases brought in 
by the police, who visited occasionally day and 
night to see how they got on. One man said 
he was so surprised to see so many young wo- 
men about ; ' for, indeed, I must say they're a 


rough lot youVe got in here ; many of them are 
well known to us.' A pickpocket with £4. on 
him, w^as brought in last night, known by his 
coat, the pockets being so made that his hands 
seem to be in them when they are in reality 
engaged in stealing.'* 

A few days later Agnes was able to leave 
Liverpool, and join us in Dublin. Much as 
she required rest and change after a year of 
such continued strain on mind and body, no 
personal consideration w^ould have induced her 
to take a holiday, but my mother's health ren- 
dered it necessary that she should try German 
baths in the summer, and the doctors wished 
her also to winter abroad. We were therefore 
most anxious to see Agnes, and under these 
circumstances she consented to come. She ar- 
rived at midnight on Friday, and returned to 
Liverpool the Monday week following. My 
mother wished that she should have as com- 
plete a change as possible, and therefore pro- 
posed that Agnes and I should spend a few 
days at Killarney, though it was rather early 
in the season ; we started on the Monday after 

z 2, 


her arrival, and returned to Dublin on Thurs- 
d::y. The day after we reached Killarney was 
one of incessant rain, and any excursion was 
out of the question. In the afternoon, how- 
ever, we put on our waterproof cloaks, and set 
out on an exploring expedition to the beautiful 
demesne of Muckross Abbey. Mountains, lake, 
and sky were alike veiled in heavy mists of rain, 
and to me the scene was cheerless enough, but 
Agnes was in raptures ; every graceful tree or 
picturesque rock she paused to admire, and be- 
fore one bank of fern and wild flowers she stood 
long in silent delight ; then turning to me, *^ Oh ! 
what would I give to take that back with me 
to Liverpool ; what a treasure it would be to 
have anything so lovely to look at !*' The next 
day was bright and clear, and greatly did she 
enjoy the drive to the head of the lakes, and 
the return in the boat among the wondrous and 
- 'aried beauty of that enchanting scenery. Yet 
the full enjoyment of her visit was somewhat 
damped by her anxiety as to the spread of cho- 
lera in Liverpool ; and though she had daily 
letters to assure her that there was no cause 


for uneasiness, she was hourly expecting a pos- 
sible recall. She looked so bright and well, 
that we felt relieved about her health suffering 
from her exertions, and her characteristic unself- 
ishness made her at all times conceal from us 
the frequent headaches and weariness which 
often made exertion so difficult, and her much- 
loved work a burden. 

The first entry in her journal after her re* 
turn is as follows : — 

** May 18th. — This day last year we began 
our work. It has been indeed a year of mer- 
cies, and its review with the only record I can 
make, ^ Hitherto hath the Lord helped,' leads 
to the resolve * I will trust and not be afraid.' 
St. Paul's list of the results of trial has been 
much on my mind. Patience is the first link 
in the chain, and yet I fear it is a lesson still 
unlearned. How I feel the need of patience ! 
The two following links I seem to know more 
of — * Experience ' and ^ Hope.' How wonder- 
fully I have been helped ! God's watchful care 
so marking just what I was able to bear, and 
I seem to have been able to trust Him more 


the last few days, and truly I have not been 
disappointed in my hope. One great comfort 
I have had in all my trials since coming here 
has failed me now ; it was, like Jonah's gourd, 
most refreshing shade in the heat of many a 
fiery sorrow. My gourd is withered now. I 
must seek more to the Rock. The fig-tree does 
not blossom, many another resource fails ; I 
must therefore only rejoice in the Lord, and 
stay on and joy in the God of my salvation." 

** May ^ist. — God sent me a great pleasure to- 
day. A little Polish Jew was dying. We could 
not find his mother when we sent for her, but 
to-day she came. As I passed through the 
ward I stopped as usual at his bed, for he 
seemed always to look for a word ; and then 
told her she might stay with him all night, as 
he was so near death. She took my hand and 
seemed so to crave for vsympathy. Not long 
after, I returned, and found the screen round 
the bed : he was just gone. She made me go 
inside with her, and so clung to me, I could 
not leave her until she went away. Her grati- 
tude was most touching ; she kissed my hand 


and said she would pray for me, for the Scrip- 
tures promised blessing to those who were kind 
to the Jews/' 

^^ June 2nd, — I must give you some of my 
brighter scenes. A poor man who has long 
been with us, has been in a dying state for 
days^ and often wished me to come and talk 
to him. He has been long a Christian. When 
I went to him to-day I thought he was asleep, 
but he sent for me^ if I could spare a moment. 
He wanted help to keep his eyes fixed on Jesus. 
As I sat by him, his eyes closed, and he seemed 
to sleep. I repeated a verse from time to time, 
and the last stupor came on after he had told me 
he could indeed trust His Saviour. So you see 
all is not work> Is not God loving to send me to 
speak of Himself when I was overwhelmed with 
much serving ? It was as if He had taken me 
those few moments aside to sit at His feet." 

'^ June 6th. — Troubles and difficulties and 
perplexities seem to multiply, but ' my God 
thinketh upon me.' I try to trust Him with 
the future, and He gives me work for Him — 
cups of water to hand to His dying ones, which 


He will remember long after 1 and all my short- 
comings here are forgotten. There is one poor 
man who looks for me daily, and folds his 
hands for prayer when he sees me. He cannot 
speak, but I take it as a sign that he wants a 
word about Jesus. Should not such work make 
all else light ? It is such a privilege to be al- 
lowed to help on one whom Jesus loves." 

^^Jtily 1st, — Thursday's Committee, before 
which I was for an hour and a half, tried me 
much. I feel so alone with no adviser. It must 
send me more to God, the wonderful Counseller. 
I slip over smooth surfaces away from Him : 
the rugged path makes me ask His hand." 

*' J'ldy 8th. — Weary — weary. I seem to un- 
derstand the word now, for I am weary mind 
and body. I have been trying to use it as a 
plea, and to accept the invitations to the weary, 
and have been selecting the passages with the 
word. Isaiah xxxii. 2. ' As the shadow of a 
great rock in a weary land. Isaiah xl. 28. 
'The Lord fainteth not, neither is weary/ 
Verse 31. * They that wait on the Lord . . . 
shall not be weary.' Isaiah 1. 4. * To speak a 


word in season to him that is weary.' Is 
this part of my lesson, the part that concerns 
others ? * For myself, it is to send me to God 
Himself.' Jeremiah xxxi. 25. * I have satis- 
fied the weary soul. The promise and the ex- 
hortation.' Galatians vi. 7. * Let us not be 
weary in v/ell doing, for in due season,' in His 
good time, ^ we shall reap, if we faint not.' 
Judges viii. 4. ' Weary yet pursuing.' But what 
helped me most was John iv. 16. * Jesus being 
wearied.' Hebrews xii. 3. * Consider Him that 
endureth such contradiction of sinners against 
Himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your 
minds.' 2 Corinthians xi. 27. Paul brings in 
weariness in his long list. How much trial he 
had which I have not ! and yet to me as to him 
is the word. * My grace is sufficient for me. 
My grace is made perfect in weakness.' I have 
that title. What are my trials and weariness 
to what Christ endured ? Oh ! if all this will 
but make me shelter more in Him Who has 
fulness of sympathy for all. I may come to 
that source and draw on it for ever." 

'* August izth, — Yesterday I spent at Poulton 


Hall. I went there at eleven and did not return 
till seven. Much enjoyed the entire change, get- 
ting completely into the country ; but this even- 
ing I had a far more cheering sight. A large 
number were collected at my Bible reading, 
and as we sang ^Rock of Ages,' A. and B. joining 
in almost overpowered me. True, it was but 
outward, yet it is a step. Those mouths, once 
so full of cursing, those men noted as bad, even 
in this wicked place, now singing God's praises. 
No, I have not spent my strength for nought." 
*' The Old Testament characters which I am 
going through with my class much interest me. 
There seems such wonderful home-teaching and 
experience, the very same every-day tempta- 
tions, trials, and difficulties that I know. 
Isaac's history to-day ; no gre^t incident, but so 
like me. God promised and gave great help, 
safety from famine and yet Isaac could not 
trust Him in the little thing of keeping him and 
his wife. Placing great things in God's hand 
and trying to manoeuvre ourselves for the lesser ; 
making Him our God and not our Father, — is 
it not too often so ? Again, Isaac was tried by 


the claims of others to what he felt his right. 
He and his father digged wells ; theirs was the 
labour, and was not the land theirs by promise ? 
What a trial to faith when one and another was 
claimed, and yet were not his patience and for- 
bearance rewarded ? Was it not in this his 
enemies saw that God was wath him, helping 
him to bear ? Then his gratitude when God 
gave him a well. He would not suffer his 
servant to be tried too long, a promise that seems 
just for me, — tarry, wait for it, it will surely 
come. Then God renews His covenant, not as 
Isaac's but as Abraham's God. How much 
surer, not with Isaac, or he might doubt whether 
God were only his God w^hile he w^as faithful. So 
are the promises * all yea and amen in Christ,' 
and we are ' heirs of God and joint-heirs with 
Christ.' The strong lesson is this, the testi- 
mony to Isaac's walk; to us it appears incon- 
sistent, but his enemies acknowledged God was 
with him. We as disciples want men to take 
knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. 
What was Isaac's secret ? We read of his me- 
ditating in the fields at eventide ; in the entan- 


glement of his thoughts within him. Joshua i. 
8, seems very similar. God made a promise 
to him. He would be with him. He com- 
mands him to meditate in' His law, and if 
he does so God^s presence with him should be 
recognized by others. We see again with 
Moses. First we have Exodus xxiv., he and 
others seeing much of God's glory. In the 33rd 
chapter he prays * Show me Thy glory.' In the 
34th comes the answer, ^ I will make all My 
goodness pass before thee ;' and we have a reve- 
lation of God's character, and then follow the 
second forty days on the Mount, and the mar- 
vellous result of the face shining. * Let your 
light so shine before men.' The same process 
is needed. We know of God's glory. His power. 
We need to know more of His love, to know 
Him as our Father, and then there will be such 
close and constant communion that men will 
see we have been with Jesus, in spite of our 

** December 11th, 1866. — I have felt very much 
to-day a patient's death. He has been a great 
interest to me lately, though I could not make 


time to read to him often, and he never was 
sure of me but on Sunday. It must have 
been about a year ago that I first noticed him, 
and I believe God taught me to teach him ; he 
greatly delighted in my going to read and pray 
with him. He was suffering from aneurism, 
and greatly dreaded the death from it, and I too 
feared it for him. Such a timid fearful disposi* 
tion as his was. He could not speak loud, and 
seldom tried to speak to me, but as I read and 
talked to him I used to see the quiet tears 
streaming down, and of late, his look and pres- 
sure of my hand told his loving gratitude. He 
never would allow me to be sent for, even when 
he longed for me, but he told the nurse, * the 
lady can never know what she has done for me.' 
On Saturday he said, ' Oh, nurse, I wish no one 
but you ever came near me, no doctor, no one.' 
* Not even the lady ?* she asked. * Oh, the 
lady, oh yes ! I think I am in heaven when she 
comes.' Last night I was very weary, and my 
voice all but gone, but I am so glad I did not 
yield to the disinclination to go to him. I told 
him much of the promises of Christ's help and 


presence, as I knew he so feared death, and 
even as I spoke, I dreaded the last struggle for 
the poor timid one. I gave him the draught I 
always prepare for him earlier than usual, and 
when I passed on my night rounds he seemed 
under its influence. To-day I saw him when I 
went up at 6 a.m., I stood beside him, but did 
not speak as his breathing was oppressed. On 
finishing my rounds as I was ringing for 
prayers, the nurse ran in — ' Taylor is dead.* I 
cannot tell you the overwhelming feeling of 
God's faithfulness and loving care for His weak 
ones, letting him go off so quietly.'' 

I cannot exactly ascertain the date of the 
following letter, but the visits of the Kirkdale 
training-school girls took place, I think, every 
three months, and for the first year and a half it 
was her delight to provide some little feast or 
amusement for them on this occasion ; it was a 
great sorrow to her when their quarterly holiday 
was put a stop to. 

*^ We had all the Kirkdale Training School 
girls here yesterday, thirty-five girls, who 
always seem so grateful and well-behaved, and 


really their greetings when they arrive are quite 
affectionate. Those who have friends here go 
to see them in various parts of the building, and 
those who have not, come to our sitting-room 
and look at pictures, etc. When the tea was 
laid, I read them a story while the rest were 
gathering. The table was laid out with flowers, 
bread-and-butter, rhubarb tarts, and pots of 
jam, a large basket of cut currant cake at the top, 
and several plates of sweet biscuits. After the 
feast they went to play while we were at tea. 
The day had been wet and gloomy, but cleared 
up, and our yard was dry for games, so all went 
there ; and as it was very mild I sent for all the 
ward children, and we had twenty ranged 
against the w^all, fourteen in blankets ; these 
and some elder boys and the patients who 
crowded at the windows watched the games. 
They went away at 6.30, each with a nosegay 
of flowers, which so delighted them. 

'* January ^th, 1867. — Last night I had a 
letter from Fahan, telHng me of old Nancy 

*s death. I often think of the change it is 

for the poor friendless, poverty-stricken ones, 
though great and glorious it is even for a king. 


Dear, dear old Nancy, how often the thought of 
her prayers for me and my work at Fahan 
helped me on !** 

She thus alludes to this same death in her 
journal. *' It is indeed a change, a going home ; 
when shall I be there ? I am not weary of work 
or life yet ; I want to do more for Jesus first. 
The very, very few happy deaths here are great 
help and comfort to me.'* 

^* Febncary ist. — To-day I was thinking much 
of the poor infirm patients^ who have much to 
try them. It is a marvel they are so quiet and 
forbearing; one poor young man told me so 
sadly that he was often so irritable, he could 
scarcely bear himself, and he was sure at times 
others could scarcely bear him. He was a 
painter, and five years since, he and some others 
fell from a scaffolding; some were killed, he 
injured his back, and has suffering which must 
be life-long in head and spine ; besides he is 
fast losing his sight. He said, * It is not as if 
I were an old man.' I have begun daily even- 
ing Bible readings, which are such a watering 
of my own soul that I trust to be able to con- 
tinue them.'' 


'' 21st, — Few know all we have to contend 
with here, the sin and wickedness, the evils so 
hard to check, the struggle to keep any order 
or rule enforced, the drudgery and the thank- 
lessness. We have here, not only the trials of 
hospital work but also of a reformatory, into 
which men are thrust against their will, and 
against all the rules of which they kick. You 
give a man a pint of porter to drink, and stand 
by to see it swallowed ; a confederate speaks to 
you, and while your eye is for a moment re^ 
moved the full can is put behind the back and 
another, provided on purpose, substituted. You 
order them to table to their meals, they go to 
it, and the moment your back is turned they 
return to the fireside bench ; so with pipes, etc. 
It is not the uphill work of the first start that 
tries one, but the month after month, year after 
year of the same discouragements ; the feeling 
that if you relax your vigilance for a few days 
all goes back. Sometimes this seems like the 
land no man careth for, and yet God sends His 
dew. His love is ever as the sun shining out 
from behind the darkest cloud." 

2 A 


^^ Febmary /{thy 1867. — In the desperate 
weather v/hen the people were said to be starv- 
ing, and we were almost left without bread, 
while bakers were busy day and night for those 
outside the walls, I was one day coming in at 
the gate and admiring the beautiful bread and 
plentiful supply, when, just because a bit of 
crust was burned, — I should have liked it to 
eat, — a woman began railing against the food 
provided. So is it often with our patients,— 
there have been some fearful scenes in the 
oakum sheds lately, rivalling the prison 
matron's revelations. You remember our visit 
there and the woman who accompanied us. On 
Saturday the women in the sheds attacked her, 
threw her down, tried to run hairpins into 
her eyes, and when assistance arrived were 
A* pounding her all over. She had made herself 
unpopular ; and an active part she had taken in 
the seizure of a woman who had attacked her 
fellow-officer the day before^ was the cause of 
this ; and one woman who ventured to say it 
was a shame, was severely beaten. We are 
expecting the death of another female officer 


who was attacked by a girl, thrown down and 
scratched ; it did not seem serious, but the 
shock to her system made the wound inflame, 
erysipelas has ensued, and she is dangerously 
ill. We need not complain, for we scarcely ever 
get hard words, much less blows. More and 
more I come to the belief that these large in- 
stitutions grouping together such numbers, are 
the ruin of the inhabitants. One would blush 
to tell the knowledge and practice of the vilest 
sins among the children ; girls of seven es- 
caping, to be brought back from the vilest 
houses. On Wednesday we had a patient 
brought in who had gone out well a few 
weeks ago ; he looked more like a wild beast 
than a man, he said he had not had his clothes 
off for three weeks, nor ^ seen his legs,' deeply 
ulcered as they are. He had been drinking 
freely, and was on the verge of delirium 
tremens, of which he died that night. I some- 
times wonder if there is a worse place on the 
earth than Liverpool, and I am sure its work- 
house is burdened with a large proportion of its 
vilest. I can only compare it to Sodom, and 


wonder how God stays His hand from smiting. 
Then, so little effort is made to stem the evil. 
All lie passive, and seem to say it must be. 
The attempt at introducing trained workers has 
certainly not met with any sympathy from 
clergy or laity. In the nearly ended two years 
of our work, how few have ever come for the 
work's sake to wish us God-speed in it ! I do 
not mean to say that I am discouraged. I 
believe we have had the blessing of the poor ; I 
never regret coming and I never wish to give 
it up.** 

^'26th. — I went over toClaughton on Saturday, 
and though I had not time for a long visit, I 
much enjoyed it. S. and E. told me a great 
deal of news, and it was pleasant to know a 
little of friends and of the world outside these 
gates. The climax of my enjoyment was tlie 
drive. E. kindly ordered the phaeton to take 
me down to the boat. We drove first up above 
the house over a road which was bordered with 
heather and pines, with a fine view of the sea. 
Had the view been clear and the heather in 
bloom, I think I should have been wild with 


delight ; the pleasure even of the dark burnt 
heather and murky view was so great. It blew 
away many cobwebs, and so I returned to my 
work wonderfully brightened up." 

Few ever enjoyed nature so thoroughly as 
Agnes did, and the rest and refreshment of a 
day in the country always gave her new vigour. 
Many frien<i3 in the neighbourhood of Liver- 
pool urged her coming frequently to their 
country-places, especially Mr. and Mrs. Rath- , 
bone of Greenbank, and Mr. and Mrs. W. 
Rathbone, whose continued kindness and 
thoughtfulness in procuring her comforts she 
would never have got for herself, were among 
the many blessings which she so often alludes 
to as reminders of God's loving care ; — too 
seldom did she avail herself of their repeated 
invitations to breathe a purer air for a few 
hours, and rest from her work, and only at Mr. 
Cropper's, where she generally went for an hour , 
or two on Saturday, did she allow herself the 
recreation which was so essential for her. 

On the 7th March, 1867, the sub-committee 
of the Workhouse Committee presented a re- 


port on the working of the system of trained 
nurses. This was so favourable to their em- 
ployment, that the vestry determined to adopt 
the system as a permanent one, extending it to 
the whole of the Workhouse Infirmary a year 
before the period fixed for the trial of the ex- 
periment had expired. Mr. Rathbone sent her 
a copy of the report with the following note : — 
^^ I send you the Committee's masterly re- 
port ; it could not have been better done to do 
as wide-spread good as possible. It will 
strengthen Miss Nightingale's hands and re- 
joice her heart. The success would have been 
impossible had it not been for your cheerful 
firmness and faith. I do most warmly congra- 
tulate you on having been so faithful a servant 
to Him to Whom you look in a work so truly 
His own." 

^ April yth, she writes : — '* The governor took 
me to see the female hospital, my new dominion. 
It was much more extensive than I expected, 
apparently larger than this ; more surface, be- 
icause the wards are only at one side of the 
passages. I had a bright death-bed to-day to 


cheer me; poor , though at one time he 

said, ' I am in such agony I cannot tell you/ 
at another it was, * I am so happy, so very 
happy,' and his whole face beamed. When I said 
he would soon be at home, he so brightened up. 
^ Yes, home, home with Jesus, — I want to be 
there now,' and again and again he seemed to 
return to the thought of home. An old man 
died suddenly this morning in the same ward. 
I knew he was suffering last night, and was 
much struck by his quiet peaceful look. His 
last words to the nurse were * I am happy, for 
He said, I will never leave thee.' Earlier in the 
day she heard him say to another patient, * Re- 
member what the Apostle says.' * What ?' was 
asked. ^ All things work together for good to 
them that love God,' was the reply.'* 

*^ May 2yd. — We have many deaths just now ; 
on Friday last one was dying during our meet- 
ing for evening prayer ; it seemed so solemn. 

To-day I went to speak to old , in the 

infirm wards, v/ho was very ill. He at once 
took my hand and said, ^ I want to take leave 
of you, — I never told you before, but do you re- 


member speaking of the '^ gift of God is eternal 
life through Jesus Christ our Lord ?" I got that 
gift then. This is the truth. The Lord 
strengthen you, and may you live more and 
more to His honour.' He spoke much more, 
quoting many texts, and though at times half- 
wandering, one could not but feel his anchor 
was within the veil." 

^^Jime, 1867. — Yesterday I had in succes- 
sion the committee, the matron, the store- 
keeper, the governor, and clerk of works, and 
had a busy morning explaining the size I 
wished the sheets, suggesting improvements in 
the cut of the shirts, planning closets and rooms, 
kitchen arrangements, etc., drawing out lists of 
what I want in furniture from bed and bedding 
down to tea-spoons for my new party, and tables, 
chairs, and forms for the wards. I have been 
contrasting that one death so stilling all at 

, and here all going on in ordinary routine 

with seven deaths between Sunday night and 
this (Tuesday) morning. I have written to get 
another grant of books, or rather ^10 worth 
for £5. The books are so prized, but I cannot 


rob the men's hospital, so shall not have any to 
spare for the female. I am always taking away 
bad literature, so I want to provide good, which 
I find banishes the other.'* 

To an invalid friend to whom she was very 
much attached, she writes : — 

^* Jamcary z^^rd. Dearest, — You will really 
think I have forgotten how to write, and now I 
am not so overworked, but when I have not 
necessary work I go about talking to the 
patients. I have not as much time for this as 
I should like, though more than I use faith- 
fully. We have so many Roman Catholics and 
such charges of partiality to Protestants, I often 
excuse myself from more than the usual in- 
quiries for health, comfort, etc., all round the 
ward, only giving more time for reading to 
those who express a wish. Since the com- 
mencement of the year I have had a little even- 
ing meeting in a small Protestant ward. It 
began as for evening prayers, reading a chapter 
and prayer, but at the men's request it is now 
a Bible-reading meeting. The men of the ward 
take a great interest in it, set the table and 


forms in order, Bibles and hymn-books, and 
generally I find the book open at the hymn they 
want to sing. Then they read in turns the 
passages I refer them to, and explain the con- 
nection, and end our half-hour with prayer. It 
is to me a very interesting little meeting vary 
ing from twenty to thirty ; some come in from 
other wards. Their attention and interest is 
great, and each takes his part so well. We take 
John iii., and I prepare each day a few well- 
chosen references. The men wash their faces 
and comb their hair before they come, no small 
thing, and they afterwards tell the nurse if there 
is not as large a number as usual present. It 
is quite their own meeting, and they seem to 
take an interest in it as such, and being God's 
word honoured, I look for a blessing. 

'^ I have several times thought I must try to 
give you sketches for your tracts. I often think 
of * She hath done what she could,' as apply- 
ing to the power of the least talented to do 
good. There is a poor deformed cripple, repul- 
sive in appearance, unable to speak plainly, and 
scarcely able to walk or use his hands, and 


^scarcely able to feed himself. He is in a ward 
of bed-ridden patients, and has constituted him- 
self their pipe-lighter. T often watch and ad- 
mire his efforts and patience. He makes an 
old poker red-hot, and they having filled their 
pipes, he goes first to one and puts his poker 
into the bowl, the man whiffs away, Dick 
stands patiently watching, by a strong effort 
holding his shaking hands quiet with the poker, 
or laying it over his arm ; no calls will move 
him till the pipe he earnestly watches is quite 
alight, then he moves on. Dick's pains, and 
the attention and care to complete one duty at 
a time, often teach me a useful lesson. I 
would go from one to another, perhaps satisfied 
that I had tried to help them. 

** I have been waiting for the death of a dear 
old man to tell you of a very interesting con- 
versation I had with him, but he still lives, and 
I must tell you a little. Old David has long 
been a great favourite with us all. He had 
been a carpenter, and whatever was required in 
that line he was ahvays glad to do, often when 
almost unable. He has lately been very ill. 


One night I repeated to him the hymn * Begone 
unbelief/ ending ^ And then, oh how joyful the 
conqueror's song !' 

^* Next day he told me that these last words 
had been on his mind. It almost seemed as if 
it were his, that * conqueror's song.' 

*' He said, Satan had tried to shake his faith 
and trust. ' But I said. Lord, I am weak, 
weak, but Thou hast said, *' Get thee behind 
me, Satan," and in Thy power, in Thy power, I 
say it now. And then I saw Jesus' love to me. 
What a wonderful thing it is that He so makes 
known that love ! I knew it before, but not as 
since last night, and I am only beginning now 
to know it. That surpassing love, I cannot tell 
what it is. It is infinite; and what is infinite 
but Jesus ? And is it not eternal ? Jesus is a 
Rock, a fixed Rock : nothing can shake Him, 
and so His love can never fail. I feel now 
I have such a firm grasp of that love, I can 
never again let it go. Only His love made it 
known to me. His Spirit taught me, not man, 
for that man could not do. I so thought of your 
words when I felt Satan go, and that love laymg 
hold of me. Oh, how joyful the conquerors song!' 


'* Dearest, I have no time for more. — Your 
own Agnes." 

Another letter to this same friend, though 
not written from Liverpool, may be given 

^' My writing to you seems almost hopeless ; 
good intentions are so often frustrated. Lately 
I have been very, very busy ; now there is a lull. 
How many letters of yours are unacknowledged! 
and yet they are a peculiar pleasure to me, for 
I want to know more of the invalid's trials and 
pleasures, as I often regret that I have not the 
sympathy that experience alone teaches. Since 
your last I have hea^d of your sufferings. I have 
lately watched two lingering restless deathbeds, 
and these seem to give such force to the as- 
surance, ' There remaineth rest ; ' and yet, 
though of both I had hope, I longed for a more 
sure and certain hope. Dearest, I need your 
prayers. My present position is most difficult 
—exposed to much jealousy, very isolated, 
often scarcely a moment alone, and at night 
feeling every spare moment must be given to 
sleep, as often I have to watch instead. No 


religious advantages of any kind, and not much 
teaching w^hen I can go to Church, besides 
being shackled in every wa.y by those w^ith 
whom I am working. But withal, I can feel I 
am of use to some, and though not as free as 
I should wish with my patients, I know they 
cling to me (m.any) for teaching as well as 
nursing. And I can feel how this discipline, 
though not what I should have chosen, is per- 
haps, indeed must be, the best training for the 
difficult but important position to which God 
seems to be calling me. Of this you will have 
heard. Will you pray much for me, that by a 
fresh baptism of the Spirit, I may go to that 
work^ making mention of Christ's righteous- 
ness only, and in His strength. Much is hoped 
from me, and I feel so incapable, I can only 
cast all on God, and tell Him as He has 
chosen, so He must fit me for the work. If I 
succeed, to Him must be all the glory ; if I 
fail, may it not bring dishonour to His cause. 
All is not yet decided, so I am not yet quite 
sure of the position. I almost dread it, and 
yet I cannot ask it may not be mine; so it 


seems as if I must lie passive in His hands. 
I can say, ' Forget not all His benefits,' for so 
often when I seem unable to bear more, relief 
comes ; or when I need a change of ideas — you 
know what that is — something comes. In my 
home life, which people used to consider so 
monotonous, I never knew this want ; novv^, not 
often, and then, more by the relief than the felt 
need. Of God's loving tender care I trust we 
are both learning deeper lessons ; that un- 
changing love which seems so to mark every 
need, and supply it, answering almost before 
we call. It often makes me feel huw much 
more experience should work in us hope, and 
even more full assurance, but I at least am 
such a slow learner. How blessed that He 
changes not, and that our times are in His 
hands! May we grow in the knowledge of His 

** Ever your affectionate and sympathizing 

Agnes E. Jones." 


The old man alluded to in the finst of these 


two letters is noticed in her journal about the 
same date. He did not die until July, 1868, 
five months after she who had cheered his 
dying pillow had herself joined in the rejoicing 
strains of the ^^ conqueror's song.'' 

*' Last night I went to poor old David Salis- 
bury, and in a strong earnest voice he told me 
of all the joy with which his heart was filled 
in the experience of Christ's love to him. He 
then went off to speak of his mother's death. 
Her last words were, (she could scarcely speak 
from weakness,) ' for ever and for ever/ The 
night before she died, he sat up with her. He 
had been reading, but dozed off, and when his 
father woke him, he said, ^ I had such a dream ; 
I heard the words, ^' Give her the remittance 
of her sins, for Jesus' sake.' To-day he said 
to me, ' I am so glad to see you ; I want to tell 
you He is my Rock, my Refuge, my strong 
tower. He makes known His love to me more 
and more. Oh, He is good^ good, good. Is 
He not love, so to teach me of His love ? ' In 
the evening I read to him Rev. vii., and spoke 
to him of the wonderful thought of how, even 


in heaven, the care and the ministry of Father 
and Son for the sons of God does not end. 
* The Lamb shall lead them by fountains of 
w^ater.' God, the Father, ' shall wipe away all 
tears.* And then I went back to the first be- 
ginning of His work for us. We sinners, unfit 
for heaven, made meet for the inheritance of 
the saints in light. He said he should not last 
long. I said, * You will not be sorry for that, 
for you know you can say, ^' For me to live is 
Christ, to die is gain." *' Eye hath not seen, 
nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart 
of man to conceive the things which God hath 
prepared for them that love Him." '^ Jesus 
went to prepare the place.-*' ' 

'* Yet there seems a fear of the last struggle 
sometimes. He begs for prayer with him, and 
bespeaks my coming, and yet is lovingly careful 
to add, ' if you can get time.* 

*' What a field there is here for soul work ! 
David S. speaks of Satan as still trying him 
at times. * He catches me unawares, but it is 
only for a moment ; I am so weak : ** Nothing 
in my hand I bring, but simply, simply to Thy 

2 B 


cross I cling." ' Then I could hear little of 
many muttered words, after we had prayed to- 
gether, except, * The matchless love and mercy 
of God.' ' Seek ye the Lord : He is near, very 

*' It is no mere form of words that many 
patients value the care they receive, — new in- 
deed to them. A very old man said, in answer 
to a question, * I never had a friend in all my 
life till I came here. You are my only friend ; 
I never had any before.' " 

*' 24th, — David seems to be sinking. He said 
to-day, ' Oh what a precious Jesus — precious, 
precious !' And when I said, ' You are going 
home.' * Going to Him, yet I will wait His 
time ; I will not ask to hasten it ; He knows 
best.' In answer to my inquiries this morn- 
ing, he said, * Weaker and weaker, but nearer 
and nearer : it is a blessed hope.' * Do you 
want anything ? ' * Nothing on earth, but only 
His will, His will.' 

" How often, when weighed down under the 
sense of responsibility, God sends me work to 
do for Him ! To-night I stood by a deathbed* 


A young man who buried his wife a fortnight 
since, and came here to die. One child has 
also gone ; two remain, one of whom is dying. 
All consumptive, their end hastened by v/ant. 
They had been respectable people, — he earning, 
when in health, :f200 a year. Much was 
wasted by a drunken step-mother, who even 
pawned for drink a sheet from about her 
daughter's corpse. Cole's wife died trusting 
in Jesus, and he too looked to Him. I scarcely 
believed him conscious as I stood by him, but 
I repeated in the dying ear, * Yea, though I 
walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with 
me.* * In my Father's house are many man- 
sions.' Here he interrupted me. * Yes, He is 
my Saviour.' * Shall I pray ?' I asked. He put 
up his hands, and I knelt and asked Jesus to 
be very near, and put the children in His care. 
His face was so calm and peaceful then, and 
when I saw him next in his coffin. Oh, what 
love in God, to let me with all my unfaithful- 
ness give a cup of cold water to His disciples !" 
*^ October 22,nd. — Our new wards .are a great 

2 B 2 


strain at present. You could not imagine such 
a set of women as the mothers of the sick 
babies. They have nothing to do but nurse 
their children, and they will scarcely do that. 
To get them up and their beds made is a task 
in the morning ; and then to get the beds kept 
tidy is no less difficult, as they get in and out 
all day. Then the noise, quarrelling, dirt, etc. 
There is a little improvement already, however. 
They are so astonished at having nurses who 
do not swear at them." 

*' December i6th. — Christmas preparations for 
1400 people keep me busy ; 70 wards to adorn 
with evergreens, besides the nurses' rooms. 
The two hospitals are so far apart we must 
have two Christmas-trees this year ; and as I 
cannot possibly be in two places at once, I 
think we must have the second on New Year's 
Day. Work never was harder than now, for 
great changes are going on, and the whole 
place is upset. I have one bright spot, how- 
ever. The ' wild beasts ' I told you of in our 
class sick nursery mothers are taming wonder- 
fully, and I hope their fights, like tlie men's, 


will soon be matters of past history. A great 
many children die, and I can scarcely be sorry 
when I think of what might be ; but it is often 
sad to see them dying. They look so pretty in 
their little coffins, and we* lay them out very 

'' December 2yth, 1867. — Now that Christmas 
is well over you must have a letter. You ought 
to have had one before, but it was really im- 
possible, for T scarcely know how mind and 
body stood the strain and anxiety. Green- 
bank and Ardmore contributed evergreens ; 
Mr. Rathbone and Emily sent me oranges, 
apples, and money. So I had kindly help. 
The putting all together, supplying the innu- 
merable wants, planning the nurses' supper, 
the trees and amusements for both hospitals, 
cakes for 120 scourers, besides all the usual 
work and extra forethought required to provide 
for the few days when no one will work here, 
you may think how thankful I v/as when the 
day was over without any fighting and little 
drunkenness. Of course the smoothness was 
not unruffled, but I was very glad to have so 


much. The sick nursery mothers were a great 
care, but we got them safely through the day 
by giving them a tree and magic lantern show 
to themselves. The men and their scourers 
behaved admirably; one female patient and 
some scourers on that side were rather the 
worse for the liberal ale allowance, which is a 
great temptation ; but for 1277 patients, 130 
scourers, 60 nurses, and 20 carriers— a total of 
1487 — to give no trouble, was a great triumph. 
I was glad to get all to bed on Christmas night. 
It was twelve before the nurses finished their 
games, and my back was breaking. I was very 
tired yesterday, but as a headache sent me to 
bed in the afternoon, I had a long rest, and 
am all right again. Kind Mrs. Cropper sent 
me such handsome volumes of Trench on the 
Parables and Miracles, with such a kind letter. 
The evergreens from Ardmore were such a 
pleasure : lovely branches of laurel, so smooth 
and clean. Those from this neighbourhood 
were black and sooty, one was for ever washing 
one's hands after working with them ; those 
from Ardmore so clean, not spotting a handker- 


chief. The patients were almost as delighted 
as I was, as most are Irish. Not a bit was 
broken up, but the branches were planted in 
pots, each ward claiming a ' tree.' Wreaths 
were made for my room, and on Sunday they 
sent me into a day dream, as I sat and looked 
at the bits of variegated holly, Chinese bar- 
berry, laurel, and laurestinus. The delight of 
the women with the tree was so great. * To 
think I should have lived so many years and 
not seen the like : I'd have walked five miles 
to see it.' We carried several helpless ones to 
see it, and all who were well enough to enjoy 
it came to look." 

Many were the little treats and pleasures of 
this kind which Agnes from time to time pro- 
vided for the patients and nurses. Books, 
flowers, illuminated texts, bright pictures, all 
these had a humanizing influence, and she con- 
sidered them essential to the softening and 
civilizing of the hardened rugged characters 
among whom her work lay. For the nurses, 
too, she v/as constantly planning some variety, 
a aay in the country, a walk to the botani^^aj 


gardens, an excursion to Birkenhead or New 
Brighton. Thus would she vary the painful 
routine of their life, and give a fresh turn to 
their thoughts, which found little pleasant to 
dwell on within the walls. 

But while thus caring for others, she forgot 
herself ; the strength which was above the 
average, indeed, was yet not superhuman, and 
the long-continued strain on mind and body 
told at last. The journals tell of painful de- 
pression ; her ever-sensitive conscience, which 
at all times led to a habit of introspection, result- 
ing in almost morbid self-condemnation, made 
her judge herself and her work only to see 
defects. It is evident that nerves, spirit, and 
strength were all over-taxed. The added care 
of the Female Hospital, with its unruly in- 
mates, and new revelation of sin and un- 
natural conduct, was a burden too heavy for 
one already weighed down with care and over- 
work ; and the beginning of 1868 was one of 
unusual sickness, the hospitals crowded far 
beyond their allotted numbers, and fever at- 
tacked several in the house. The very last 
letter she ever wrote is as follows : — 


'* Sattcrday, February ist, — I fancy it must be 
a very long time since I wrote, but I really 
cannot keep count of time, which flies. I have 
had much and serious illness among my staff; 
indeed the weather is so close and unhealthy, it 
is no wonder. My work has been tremendous ; 
we have had constantly upwards of three hun- 
dred patients above our proper number ; extra 
beds on the floor, ten or fourteen in large 
wards, five to seven in small ; but when about 
six weeks are past we may look forward to a 
diminution. . . . We have had a series of stir- 
ring and tragic events lately in our wards. One 
wretched woman was brought in, who, as soon 
as her baby was born, cut its throat. As soon 
as well enough, she goes to her trial. We 
have had the policeman constantly in the next 
room. Another poor baby was brought in 
found in the streets, almost frozen, with a cord 
round its neck. It was only twelve hours old, 
but we were able to revive it. It is in a place 
like this, one learns what wickedness there is 
on earth. I woke this morning feeling as if aJl 
night I had been repeating— 


** And feel at heart that One above, 
in perfect wisdom, perfect love, 
Is working for the best." 

And later on came the remembrance of the 
line — 

** That I from self may rest.** 

It is what I need to learn : to trust all to Jesus; 
leave oft' from my own doings, and leave all to 

It was wonderful how in the midst of her 
work she found time to send a line of sympathy 
to those who were in trouble. Two letters may 
be given here to show how she had learned to 
comfort others with the comfort wherewith she 
herself was comforted of God : — 

** Dearest C. — You have been so constantly 
thought of for the last few weeks that I must 
try to write to you. But if it was difficult to ex- 
press sympathy in the anticipation of trial, what 
is it now ? I can only pray God to comfort 
you. Dearest, I know the many aggravations 
of what is always a bitter grief, and I have 
stood with orphans by a similar deathbed; 
and' while I pray that you may have the 


' strong consolation ' God alone can give, I 
ask that your minds may be kept from regrets 
respecting means used, and staying on His 
own ruling Providence, which ordered all for 
the best for her, and knew the end from the 
beginning iov you. There is bright light in the 
clouds, for she is free from pain and sorrow, 
and for ever with the Lord she so loved, wait- 
ing to welcome you all. But oh, the clouds 
are very dark for you. Perhaps few know this 
better than your and dear E.'s most sympa- 
thizing friend, 

*^ Agnes Jones." 

To another friend at an earlier date : — 
'' My dear M., — I have had so many thoughts 
of writing to you, and have gone on from day to 
day undecided as to what it was best to do, but 
now I hope you will receive it as meant as some 
slight token of how much I feel for you all in your 
deep trials. I have so often thought of our last 
walk together, and as near the end you spoke 
of Miss G. and showed me the house, I remem- 
ber w^ondering if you did not even then feai a 


similar trial ? And now that it has come, dear 
M., I trust you may be enabled to see the love 
of Him who holds the rod. My words can 
scarcely tell you how much I feel for you, and 
what can I speak to comfort ? I will tell you 
of a few verses from which I have been lately 
learning much myself in a different kind of 
trial, Job xxiii. 6. I think this may show one 
end of affliction. When wave upon wave comes, 
so that we exclaim, ' Will He plead against me 
with His great power?' how blessed it is to see 
the object of all to be ' No, but He would put 
strength in me.' Then, though we cannot see 
His hand yet (verse 10) ' He knoweth the way 
that I take ; when He hath tried me, I shall 
come forth as gold.' Here is His purpose, 
again, to purify and refine. Then we see His 
training too in all (verse 11), 'for He performeth 
the thing that is appointed for me ;' the " needs 
be " may be dark to us, but He knows it. In this 
connection Job xxxvii. 11-13 comes in so beauti- 
fully, — ' Also by watering he wearieth the thick 
cloud.* The cloud is dark, and He may even 
seem to darken it more, but it is that He may 


scatter His bright cloud. From Matthew xvii. 
5, where we find the voice from the bright 
cloud testifying of Jesus, we may, I think, take 
it as the manifestation of the presence of God ; 
this bright cloud will be scattered, its rays pene- 
trate even the thick clouds. Both alike are or- 
dered by Him to do whatsoever He commandeth 
them.' Then come the reasons for the thick cloud 
(verse 13), — ' He causeth it to come, whether 
for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.' 
There are depths in each expression, but spe- 
cially beautiful is the 'for His land.' The land 
on which no human eye rests. He yet beautifies 
for Himself; rain falls there as on the most 
favoured spot 'to satisfy the desolate and waste 
ground'. The barren unfruitful soil is to be satis- 
fied, — a Bible word, full of man's emptiness and 
God's rich supply, — and not only this, but also 
' to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring 
forth.' Here is the end of the whole matter. 
God sends the thick cloud, the rain of trial, on 
His land or people' in order to bring up into 
more healthy and perfect form the seed which 
He Himself sowed, that that which was before 


but a tender herb and ' a bud of the tender 
herb * may spring forth into one of the trees of 
the Lord's planting. Dear M., I hope it may 
be thus with you. How cold is the warmest 
human sympathy in such a trial as yours ! 
Such as mine is, it is offered to you and yours 

" Your affectionate friend, 

'* Agnes E. Jones." 

To a friend on her birthday : — 

'^ If love were the measure of words and 
wishes, you would receive none more earnest 
and warm than mine. I cannot wish you many 
happy years, but I can most heartily wish that 
this new year may be one of growth in grace 
and in the knowledge of Jesus, — one of more 
simple devotion to His service and one of 
greater usefulness. How you shrink from much 
required of you^ He knows ! I realized it when 
I felt your hand after speaking to-night. Dear- 
est, did not those answering looks and tears 
help you ? It was good seed ; may He nourish 
it till it bring forth much fruit,— sown in weak- 


ness, raised in power. In your loneliness, in 
j'our need of sympath}^, in your trembling in 
the way of duty, in your weakness and discou- 
ragement, in your sleepless nights and hours of 
weariness and pain, — may He draw near and be 
with you, or rather open your eyes as those of 
the prophet's servant to see Him near with His 
riches of grace and strength to supply and meet 
your need. We want more to realize this His 
nearness, not only with tenderest sympathy, 
but with a treasury of healing, — with the very 
help suited to the special need. How strong 
and happy should we be did w^e realize this, 
and were Jesus the God-man all He wants to 
be to us ! " 

Agnes did indeed draw strength and comfort 
from this source. We have spoken of hours of 
depression and records of heart-sickening dis- 
appointment and anxious, wearing care, but 
ao trace of this ever appeared in her face when 
she went through the wards or among the 
nurses. ^^ Every one tells me I am looking so 
well and happy " was her constant assurance 
in her letters home, and all her friends who 


went to see her, remarked on the beaming look 
in her face. ** She is Hke a sunbeam," was the 
frequent expression used in speaking of her. 
But she needed rest, and she was to have it 
now. We have spoken of the increase of ill- 
ness, and especially of fever. A young nurse 
who had been suffering from bronchitis showed 
symptoms of typhus when too ill to be moved 
into the Fever Hospital, and Agnes, with her 
usual thought for others and forgetfulness of 
herself, gave up her own bedroom to the suf- 
ferer and slept on the floor of her sitting- 
room. The last letter to us was written when 
illness had already so overpowered her as to 
make her feel it impossible to leave her room, 
but she gives no hint of pain or fatigue. From 
the entry in her journal of January 22nd, it 
would seem that she was under the influence 
of the fatal poison which seems in typhus 
fever so often to seize upon one after another 
victim. My eldest aunt, who had been at the 
deathbed of a brother in the Isle of Man, came 
to Liverpool on her way to Dublin on the 6th 
February; she had not heard of Agnes's illness, 
but was met with the news on her arrival. 


■ ■ * 

Some years before, in writing to one of my 
aunts, Agnes said : — 

** I have just heard of dear Lady Macgregor's 
sudden death; it was a joyful summons. I 
have been thinking much of that poem * What 
is the happiest death to die V J. says, * An ill- 
ness beforehand; not too long, but to allow of 
speaking dying words and so being of use.' 
Mine w^ould be either illness taken in the per- 
formance of duty, or sudden, in the very act of 
speaking of Jesus to a lost one." 

This prayer was indeed granted. We need 
not look at second causes, or judge as men 
judge of the reason for this crushing blow. 
Faith looks higher and sees another side of the 
picture, — a brighter, truer, more comforting 
one. The Heavenly Father who had watched 
over His child so lovingly through the thirty-five 
years of Her earthly pilgrimage. Who had ac- 
cepted the early offering of her heart given to 
Him, before the world with its many alluring 
pleasures had wooed her affections. Who had 
kept her by His grace ever true to her early 
faith and love and led her by such a wondrous 

iJ c 


path of service and self-devotedness. He had 
willed that His child should rest from her 
labours. It was enough ; her place was ready 
in His presence, and He said to her, *' Enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

It will perhaps be best here to link together 
the history of her life with the short story of 
her deathbed by inserting a letter of recollec- 
tions from one who was to her, friend and sister 
during her three years in Liverpool. 

Miss G. writes :— « 

" I must try if I can find time to write down 
my remembrances of my precious friend, Agnes 
Jones. Before she came to Liverpool I had 
heard of her, and felt intensely interested in 
hearing of her devotion to her Master's ser- 
vice in the care of His poor and sick ones. 
,When it was decided that she was to come to 
Liverpool to take charge of the Workhouse 
Hospital, where I had been a visitor for thirteen 
years, my interest deepened, and I thanked 
God with a joyful, hopeful heart. I shall never 
forget my first meeting with her. I made a 
short call, for she was much engaged, but her 


quiet, ladylike, self-possessed manner particu- 
larly struck me. This call was followed by one 
or two more, but we did not get below the 
surface (probably from reserve on both sides) 
until about the fourth call I made, my darling 
friend threw herself on the ground at my side, 
and begged that I would pray for and with her, 
for she felt ' in great need.* We almost always 
met twice every week. I went to her on Thurs- 
day, and she came to Dingle Bank (whenever 
practicable) on Saturday. It was surprising to 
me to find one filling such a post, possessed of 
such . extreme sensibility and deep feeling. I 
often washed she felt less keenly^ but then as 
she said, ' if she did not feel pain keenly she 
would not feel pleasure,' and there certainly 
never was a heart so quickly made to overflow 
with gratitude to God and to man for small 
mercies. A note, a flower, a kind word would 
make her exclaim, ' He careth for me.' She 
was most considerate for the nurses under her 
care, and when some were ill with small-pox 
she visited them daily, as she considered her- 
self proof against infection. Most touching to 

a c 2 


me is the remembrance of her kind thought for 
the sick ; all sorts of little cheering attentions 
and alleviations ; one v^^ondered how she thought 
of all. I believe no one will ever know what 
she did for the patients, — making it easy for 
friends to come from a distance to visit the sick 
and dying one, and then being near with a 
comforting word when all was over. She would 
not often allow me to be present at her Bible 
readings, but I shall never forget one at which 
I had leave to remain. There must have been 
nearly a hundred men in the ward ; every eye 
was fixed upon her, and the attention was pro- 
found. Her subject was simple, very well 
prepared, and spoken without any difficulty or 
ihe least hesitation ; just a simple and most 
forcible (from its simplicity) setting forth of the 
Gospel, and then a most earnest prayer that all 
might be led to accept and embrace it. One 
felt it was just the teaching required, and again 
I thanked God for sending her. She had keen 
enjoyment of the country, and sometimes when 
I persuaded her to leave her heavy duties and 
take a drive she always enjoyed it^ and would 


laughingly say we had ^ had a spree.* I now 
feel her labours were far beyond her strength, 
yet when I spoke about it to her, and urged, as 
I often did, more rest, she would reply, * These 
busy two years have been the happiest of my 
life,' adding, ' you must not think because I tell 
you all my troubles that I am unhappy, for this 
is not the case ; I am generally very happy, 
only I like to tell you these things, — I have no 
one else to speak to, and then you know how to 
pray for us.' This she very often said, so that 
in reading her manuscripts I have hoped that 
the clouds were painted there, but that there 
was sunshine. On Saturdays we almost always 
read and prayed together, and sometimes on 
Thursdays too^ and these seasons were most 
precious. In January of this year (1868) some 
friends met in her rooms for united prayer, and 
I believe we shall none of us forget the part 
dearest Agnes took, and the unction and power 
with which she prayed. It was the last time I 
ever heard her pray. On Thursday, the 30th 
January, I noticed that she seemed much de- 
pressed, and we had a long talk, and it seemed 


to me so much of a physical nature that I felt 
sure she could not be well, and said so. She 
would not admit that much was the matter. I 
stayed tea with her, and she rested with me in 
her room for about an hour. She then went 
her usual evening rounds, and returned to me, 
saying she would go to Hope Hall. I tried to 
persuade her to rest instead, but she said, ^ It 
is the greatest rest and refreshment I have.^ I 
did not oppose it further, and we went. On 
Friday we were extremely anxious about Mrs. 
James Cropper, who was dangerously ill, and 
as I had often seen our loved one just as poorly 
and tired, I hoped all was well with her, and 
my anxiety was centred on another object. On 
Saturday we expected her as usual, but the 
cabmen had struck for higher fares, and we 
supposed this had prevented her coming. On 
Monday dear Mrs. J. C. died, and on Tuesday, 
Feb. 4, I met Dr. Gee, who asked me if I knew 
that Agnes was ill. Most certainly I did not, 
and wished to go to her at once, but he said he 
had left her ^settled for the night,' and that she 
bad better not be disturbed « After a troubled 


night I set off very early to my loved friend, 
and went into her room (Wednesday, Feb, 5). 
She looked flushed, but v/as perfectly herself, 
greeting me with ^ What brings you here so 
early in the morning ?' and added, ' What busi- 
ness has Dr. Gee to make my friends anxious 
about me ?' She was so bright and cheerful, 
my fears were lessened, and after a little time 
of prayer together (our last time, Wednesday, 
Feb. 5), I left her, as she wished to be * quite 
still.' The next day (Thursday, Feb. 6), the 
disease was declared to be typhus, but the 
doctor gave us good hope that she would get 
through nicely, and gave directions that she 
was not to be spoken to or roused to speak 
about anything. I v/as with her most of that 
day, and arranged about her being nursed as 
she wished to be, and did many things for her 
to keep her dear mind easy, for just at that 
time she was full of thought and care about 
little matters, and she would then send for me 
and confide to me her wishes (which chiefly 
referred to her work). In the evening we had 
the sitting-room nicely prepared, and she v/as 


removed into it on Friday morning (Feb. 7). 
You know the room. Her bed was placed 
between the windows, which were slightly 
darkened, and then by means of the window 
opposite the door and the fire we were able to 
preserve the most perfect ventilation. The 
doctor who was called in said, ' We could not 
have a more perfect sick-room.' The darling 
was greatly pleased with her change, and looked 
up to me with a sweet smile, saying, ^ I am so 
comfortable !' On Friday evening (Feb. 7) 
your dear aunt came ; she will have told you 
the rest, but I incline to continue my account. 
We went on very hopefully for a week, the 
darling sleeping most of her time, and when 
not asleep, not seeming inclined to speak. She 
asked sometimes ' Is Miss Gilpin here ?' and 
said, ' She should not come every day, it is too 
great an exertion.' Once or twice she sent for 
me to write a note on business for her, but very 
soon there was no connected thought. She 
would talk unconsciously about her wards, her 
nurses, and her work ; and when the alarming 
symptoms came on, she fancied herself a third 


party, and suggested alleviations for the diffi- 
cult breathing. On the Friday week (Feb. 14) 
after she was taken ill, she was thought in 
danger, and another medical man was sent for. 
On Saturday (Feb. 15) we had a little more 
hope. Sunday (Feb. 16) was a terribly anxious 
day. I met the nurses for prayer, and a most 
solemn time we had. There was much prayer 
for her both in the workhouse and out of it, 
and I could not believe she was to die. When 
the doctors said *' It will be a miracle if she 
liv^es — the power of man cannot save her/ I 
replied, * A miracle will be wrought then,' so 
fully did I think she must live. But God saw 
otherwise, — the work was more fully done than 
I had thought, and the ' well done * about to be 
said to one who had indeed toiled all the morn- 
ing and rested at noon. All hope was given up 
on Tuesday night (Feb. 18) : the pulse at 150 
— no power to subdue it. And so ^the silver 
cord was loosed, the golden bowl was broken,* 
and the purified spirit of this self-sacrificing 
earnest worker returned to God, to find to her 
surprise and joy and gratitude the battle fought, 


the victory v^on, and the rest attained (Febru- 
ary 19, 1868, 2 A.M.)." 

The first tidings of my dear sister's illness 
reached us on the night of the nth February, 
when a telegram arrived (which should have 
followed, not preceded a letter we received the 
next morning), telling us she was progressing 
favourably. The shock was very great ; for 
though we knew she was ever exposed to in- 
fection, the anxiety we had felt on this point 
when she first entered on hospital work had in 
great measure passed away, and we had a kind 
of feeling that as she was doing God's work. 
He would preserve her from all evil. Day 
after day passed, and telegrams and letters 
brought better accounts, and we hoped all 
might yet be well. My mother's state of health 
and the season of the year which would have 
made a return to England most dangerous for 
her, prevented our thinking of hastening to 
Liverpool, and this enforced absence added in 
no small degree to the painful anxiety then and 
the bitterness of our grief afterwards. It needs 
to remember, and to go over and over again 


what our faithless hearts are so prone to forget, 
that all these circumstances are ordered for us, 
arranged by One, Who never wills unkindly, 
and therefore must be submitted to as His dis- 
pensation, to which we must bow as trusting, 
though sorrowing children. On Wednesday, 
the I2th February, it was supposed the crisis 
had passed ; and though a slight inflammation 
in the right lung caused some uneasiness, it 
appeared to yield to remedies, and she was so 
far better that she tried to write a few pencil 
lines to my mother, in which the feeble writing 
and incoherent words brought to us more for- 
cibly than anything else, the extreme state of 
weakness to which she was reduced. One 
sentence only, except a few words of love was 
entire, ** I felt when this illness began that it 
would be for the glory of God." The general 
anxiety was very great. Miss Nightingale, 
whose affectionate interest in Agnes had been 
continued through the five years of her hospital 
work, wrote to my aunt in a letter of anxious 
inquiry. ^' I look upon hers as one of the 
most valuable lives in England in the present 


state of the Poor Law and of Workhouse nurs- 
ing." On Friday, the 14th, my aunt writes, 
*^ The fever has been a verv severe one, and her 
progress is slow but gradual : Wednesday the 
pulse w^as 134 ; yesterday morning 120 : last 
night 116 ; to-day 108 ; the very slight tendency 
to inflammation on the lung quite subdued; 
in fact every thing favourable, but we must 
wait patiently on the Lord. I am the happiest 
of you all^ though not allowed to be much with 
my precious one, but always near. She is 
calm and patient, always sensible when roused, 
but sleeps a good deal, and is dull when awake, 
but always rational in her answers ; yesterday, 
Thursday 13th, she spoke to me of going to 
Southport when able ; indeed she has the best 
care, and were she Dr. Gee's child he could 
not be more anxious ; he does not much look 
for a very marked crisis in such cases, but 
since Tuesday, the nth, the fever has been 

The very night of the day on which we re- 
ceived this, a telegram came to say most alarm- 
ing symptoms had set in, — inflammation of both 


lungs, and we felt there was scarcely a hope* 
On the 19th, at two o'clock in the afternoon, 
another telegram brought us the tidings that 
all was over twelve hours before. Two days later 
my aunt wrote the following particulars of Tues- 
day night, the i8th. ''She looks so lovely: 
the calm yet almost bright expression, so like 
herself and so little wasted. I think I told 
you yesterday that the doctors did not wish any 
one but the nurses to go near her, for fear of 
setting her mind to work. I was often listen- 
ing at the door ; in general she was quiet, but 
the breathing rapid and laboured. I could not 
hope; and when at 7^ p.m. the doctors said 
the pulse was above 155, it was impossible to 
anticipate amendment. When Dr. Gee, vv'ho 
for four nights had not left the hospital, lying 
on a sofa, came at near eleven, he could give 
no hope, but begged I v/ould go to bed. I had 
not been long there when Walker called me ; 
her own nurses with a few others were there ; 
there was no mistaking what the breathing then 
portended, but when liquid was offered she 
swallowed it. One of the nurses whispered to 


her, ^ You'll soon be with Jesus.' She said, 
* Yes, I'll be better then — .' After some time 
she opened her eyes, no dulness then ; they 
looked bright and beautiful ; she looked round 
as if she knew the faces, then on me with such 
a loving expression, and * auntie ' was her 
last word. The breathing became slower, then 
longer intervals between ; at last it ceased, and 
she was with Jesus, Whom she so loved and so 
faithfully served. Her countenance is the most 
beautiful I ever saw after life had departed — 
the bright sunny expression — truly perfect 
peace; more than peace, joy." 

I return to Miss Gilpin's letter of recol- 
lections : — 

'* It is impossible to describe the grief I 
witnessed at the hospital the following morn- 
ing. The dear remains looked very lovely, and 
the room was full of nurses and probationers, 
who had come in to look at the loved form once 
more. All was quiet, solemn grief, — I had 
rather dreaded the removal of the coffin, fear- 
ing some want of solemnity, but I need not 
have feared. It was removed the following 


Friday. I got to the workhouse as early as I 
could. Mr. Rathbone had sent some men for 
the necessary work, and all was done so quietly 
that your dear aunts and I, who were in the 
little room close to hers, could not hear a word. 
A beautiful oak coffin, with a great deal of 
silver about it, and a lovely cross of white 
camellias fastened on the top. I asked leave 
for a short time of prayer when all was ready. 
All the nurses came in, and in that dear room, 
surrounded by her furniture, pictures, etc., 
where she and I had so often knelt together, we 
bowed dov»^n before the pitiful Father, Who 
had recalled our dear one, and Who had caused 
us to mourn. Your dear aunts prayed, and I 
prayed, and indeed all hearts I do believe 
joined in prayer ; it was a time never to be for- 
gotten. The coffin was carried out into the 
hall, and we all stood round while it was 
placed in the case in which it was to cross the 
Channel. All was very still, even grief was 
hushed, and though there were many tears 
there was no sound. I looked up just as the 
arrangements were complete, and to my great 


surprise, but great interest, I saw landing and 
stairs lined with people. The poor patients 
had come out of the different wards, and were 
looking down on the coffin which held the 
remains of one who had lived and moved 
among them as an angel of mercy, comforting 
body and mind. They felt, and we felt, that 
they had indeed lost a kind and generous friend 
who sacrificed her life to her zeal in the cause 
of God. The workhouse road was also lined 
with people, but all silent, though many were 
in tears. It was so solemn, I ceased to regret 
that the precious remains had been removed. 
It was better to lay her in her father's grave ; 
and if her purified and happy spirit had been 
looking down, it feels to me as if she would 
quite approve. The hearse and coaches disap- 
peared, and all was gone of our darling, and we 
returned to her desolate rooms to weep and 
pray. Oh, it was a comfort to me to have 
your dear kind aunts for a while, and I thanked 
my Heavenly Father for this mitigation of the 
trial. Now they are gone, and no one knows 
how empty that crowded hospital is to me. 


How often I catch myself fancying I see her at 
the turn of the stairs or in the wards ! But I 
am reconciled, — I would not have her back. 
The darling is at rest, and rest for ever, serving 
her God without weariness." 

Close to where the waters of Lough Swilly 
ripple to the foot of the Ennishow^en hills, the 
little churchyard of Fahan lies in one of the 
many lovely spots that gem the shore of the 
lake of shadows. The Gollan rises with its 
rounded cairn-crowned summit close beside it, 
— the woods of Glengollan and the Rectory 
grounds surround it on two sides, and below, 
the high-road passes, separating it from the 
sunny meadows of the old much-loved home of 
Fahan House. Eighteen years before, the 
father to whom Agnes had been so fondly at- 
tached was laid in that churchyard, and his 
grave was re-opened for her on the 25th Fe- 
bruary, 1868. 

Immediately behind the grave rises the east 
window of the old church, now a most pic- 
turesque ruin, veiled with glossy ivy, A few old 
trees partially conceal it from the road, and 

2 D 


cast their long shadows over low^ly graves 
around — the graves of the poor — many of whom 
she had comforted in sorrow, assisted in 
poverty, visited in sickness, and encouraged in 
the hour of death. It seems indeed the fit 
resting-place for her. The mourning in the 
parish when the news of her death came was 
great indeed, and few were missing from the 
crowd, who met the funeral procession as it 
came from Derry. The schoolmistress, who 
was most sincerely attached to her, wrote to 
me the following graphic description of the 

'*We have just returned from the last home 
and resting-place of our precious, loving and 
much-loved friend. It will in a measure gratify 
you to know that all the people of Fahan, far 
and near, came out to show and give our last 
tribute of gratitude to our dear, dear Miss 
Jones. All the young and old men went to 
meet her ; the women gathered in the grave- 
yard near her grave, first the children, then all 
the young girls of her class, next middle-aged 
and old women ; your dear friend Mrs. C. at a 


short distance leaning on her husband's arm. 
When the solemn toll of the bell struck the ear, 
it was fearful ; it caused one bitter sob through 
all there. The hearse came forward to the gate 
with its heavy plumes ; all was solemn still- 
ness, then came the coffin with our dear one, 
carried on the shoulders of the young men of 
your evening class ; there was one suppressed 
murmur, ' Oh dear.' Then followed a number 
of clergymen, — then her uncles and cousins, etc., 
— then the people. Mr. King read the ser- 
vice ; a beautiful wreath of snowdrops and white 
primroses twined with ivy and yew from your 
own old garden was put into the grave on the 
coffin, with a lovely bunch of violets ; then the 
little children scattered in snowdrops, monthly 
roses and spring flowers, — no stranger v/as 
allowed to do anything ; the young men of the 
place put in the clay and gently covered all up. 
The sorrow and mourning and bitter lamenta- 
tion are great, but softened by the intense gra- 
tification that she is laid here." 

Miss Nightingale concludes her beautiful 
sketch of my dear sister with these words : — 

2D ^ 


'* Let US add living llowers to her grave, 
* lilies with full hands/ not fleeting primroses, 
not dying flowers. Let us bring the work of 
our hands and our heads and our hearts to 
finish her work which God has so blessed. 
Let her not merely rest in peace, but let hers 
be the life which stirs up to fight the good 
fight against vice and sin, and misery and 
wretchedness, as she did, — the call to arms 
which she was ever obeying :— > 

* The Son of God goes forth to war, 
Who follows in His train ?' 

Oh, daughters of God, are there so few to 
answer ?*' 

I have sometimes feared lest the memoir 
which I have so imperfectly prepared from 
some of her letters and journals should in some 
measure jar against the trumpet note sounded 
in that eloquent paper,^ — lest some who were 
thinking of putting their hand to the work 
should draw back discouraged at a nearer view 
of the difficulties to be surmounted; and the 
battle to be fought. For those who would 


seek ease and pleasure and enjoyment, this 
is indeed no path ; — it needs what Agnes had, 
the single eye to God's glory, the steadfast 
will to follow His leading, the yearning desire 
to use every talent He had given in His service. 
The battle was indeed a hard one — painful to 
flesh and blood — every nerve quivered, every 
tender feeling was wrung, — mother, sister, 
home, these had all to be renounced, and for 
what ! To live among the lowest and most 
degraded of human beings, to seek to do them 
good, physically and morally, and then to die, 
— as some would say, before her work was 
done, — never to see success, or what she would 
call success on earth. But if a name written 
in heaven — written on the heart of hundreds of 
God's poor — written in the annals of all that is 
most self-sacrificing and self-devoted — written 
on lives that will ever bear the impress of com- 
panionship with her, if this be worth having 
she had this ; and better still, she had what was 
the only thing she cared for, God's approval 
and blessing; and hereafter, *' They that be 
wise shall shine as the brightness of the firma- 


ment, and they that turn many to righteous- 
ness, as the stars for ever and ever." 

In October, 1869, a tablet was erected in 
Fahan Church to her memory. It is thus 
noticed in a local paper. 

Monument to Miss Agnes Elizabeth Jones. 

(From the 'Londonderry Guardian,' October 21, 1869.) 

*' A very elegant monument is in course of 
erection in the Parish Church at Fahan, to 
perpetuate the memory of the late Miss Agnes 
Elizabeth Jones. That pious and philanthropic 
lady was the daughter of the late Colonel Jones, 
and spent her youth at Fahan. She subse- 
quently removed to Liverpool, where, actuated 
by feelings of noble and Christ-like compassion 
for the sufferings of her fellow-creatures, and 
disregarding the comforts which her position in 
life afforded her, she bestowed much of her 
time in tending on the sick in the hospital, and 
affording consolation and comfort to the afflicted 


and the dying. Intrepid and indefatigable in 
her labours of love and kindness, she was 
seized by fever herself while ministering to the 
wants of some poor fever-stricken patients, and 
cut off all too soon for her noble work, and 
while still comparatively young. She died in 
Liverpool on the 19th of February last year, 
and was interred in the quiet rural Burial 
Ground of Fahan, in the neighbourhood of the 
picturesque scenes amongst which her earlier 
years had been spent. A notice of her life and 
labours, her death and burial, appeared in our 
columns shortly after her lamented demise. 
The people of Fahan, revering her memory, 
and wishing to perpetuate it by some enduring 
monument, subscribed for this purpose, and the 
result is that a very handsome monument is 
now in course of erection in the Parish Church. 
Had additional subscriptions been required 
they could easily enough have been obtained 
elsewhere, but the people of Fahan wished to 
defray all the cost of the monument themselves. 
It consists of a tablet of pure Carrara marble, 
supported by brackets, and capped by a moulded 


cornice, which bears the following inscrip* 
tion: — **The Master is come, and calleth for 
thee — John vi. 28. Erected by the Minister 
and people of Fahan, and their Bishop, in 
memory of Agnes Elizabeth Jones, formerly of 
this Parish; Born loth November, 1832; cut 
off by fever, 19th February, 1868.'^ The Scrip- 
tural quotation is in gilt letters, the rest of the 
inscription being in black. Over this, in bold 
relief, leaning on a broken column, is a female 
figure representing grief. The background is 
of black marble, which, from the contrast, 
gives a fine effect to the pure white statuary 
marble. The design and execution of the 
monument were entrusted to Mr. Robert Kell, 
sculptor, of this city. Underneath the inscrip- 
tion already quoted are the following beautiful 
lines, the composition, we understand, of the 
Lord Bishop of Derry : — 

" Alone with Christ in this sequesterM place, 
Thy sweet soul learn'd its quietude of grace ; 
On sufferers waiting in this vale of ours, 
Thy gifted touch was trained to finer powers. 
Therefore, when Death, O Agnes ! came to thee*» 
Not in the cool brea'^h of our silver sea, 


But in the city hospital's hot ward, 
A gentle worker for the gentle Lord — 
Proudly, as men heroic ashes claim, 
We ask'd ^o have thy fever-stricken frame. 
And lay it in our grass, beside our foam, 
riU Clirist the Healer call His healers homp. 





THE morning in June, 1853, which we had fixed 
upon for our excursion to Kaiserswerth, was dark 
and louring. We rose early, however, and when about 
6 o'clock our friend ana guide, Mr. G., entered, breakfast 
was nearly over. The usual salutations were succeeded 
by a discussion as to the prudence of making our pro- 
posed journey on such a dubious mornings but we finally 
concluded that as the rain had not yet come on, we 
should set out. Soon afterwards we were in the train 
on our way to Cologne. To visit this ancient town was 
not our object 5 still, while waiting for the Diisseldorf 
train, we visited the far-famed cathedral. Suffice it to 
say, that in the building itself we found much to in- 
terest, in the interior much to sadden. Soon after- 
wards we crossed the river^ and started for the next 
sraiion. Here^ on our arrivali we did not find the 


omnibus we had expected to meet, and therefore were 
obhged to accomplish our journey on foot. This ne- 
cessitated a shortening of our inspection of the insti- 
tution described beneath 3 but the details supplied re- 
specting it were partly gathered on the occasion of a 
subsequent and longer visit. 

Before we enter the Deaconess Institution of Kai- 
serswerth, let us speak of its origin and object. We 
had become acquainted with both but a short time pre- 
viously, while spending the month of May in Paris, 
where annual religious assemblies are held, something 
of the nature of the Dublin April meetings. We had 
attended several of them ; amongst others, one on 
behalf of the Paris Deaconesses, held in the institution, 
in the Rue de Reuilly. A subsequent visit to this so 
greatly interested us, as to inspire the desire of seeing 
the parent institution at Kaiserswerth on the Rhine. 

It was founded about thirty years ago by the Pastor 
Fliedner, its present head. At the age of twenty he had 
been appointed pastor of the little weaving village of 
Kaiserswerth. A subsequent failure of the proprietor of 
the place involved the whole population in ruin. Pen- 
niless themselves, they could no longer support their 
young pastor, with whom they would willingly have 
shared tneir last morsel. He was reluctant to leave his 


post, but his only means of support having failed, he had 
no choice. Followed by many prayers and blessings, he 
left his people in order to seek, in Christian liberality, 
help for the little flock. Germany was traversed, and 
an unseen agency led him to England. Here was to 
be sown the seed of that work of faith, the Deaconess 
Institution, which now shakes its blossoms over many 

Mrs. Fry spoke to the pastor, of poor female pri- 
soners. He heard of her efforts among them, and his 
heart yearned to imitate her example. Soon after- 
wards he returned to Kaiserswerth, bearing to his 
people the gifts of their fellow Christians. The lesson 
learnt in England was not lost. Such an opportunity 
as he sought was soon afforded him. Two young wo- 
men having been discharged from the neighbouring 
prison, their friends would not receive them j their 
former employers also were turned against them. In 
the hearts of the pastor and his wife alone did they find 
sympathy. In the pastor's garden was an old summer- 
house, and here he lodged his penitents. With their own 
hands, this faithful clergyman and his wife conveyed 
to them their food ; and under their own eyes em- 
ployed them to work in the garden, safe from contami- 
nating mduences, and protected from the temptauons 


of poverty or scorn. When the numbers of such 
penitents increased, a friend came to assist. Then arose 
the thought that if others would but help, an impor- 
tant work might be done. In the early ages of the 
Church, pious women had thus devoted themselves to 
God's service, not as a means for their own salvation, but 
to bring forth the fruits of faith. 

Kaiserswerth was, in former times, an island, which 
derived its name from having been a gift of the Emperor 
Charlemagne., as the site of a monastery. 

The few houses it contains were taken one by one as 
required. These are now, the pastor's house, (for long 
ago he relinquished his parochial charge, and devoted 
himself to the Institution), the orphans' and teachers' 
schools, lodging-houses, halls and kitchens. An addi- 
tion in the rear towards the garden and river, is the 
present home of the penitents. When the fame of 
Kaiserswerth reached royal ears, the lattf king granted 
a building opposite, (formerly a home for retired sol- 
diers) for an hospital. At a little distance, in a garden, 
is a new building, the lunatic asylum. The Institution, 
as d whole, contains upwards of three hundred inhabit- 
ants. Of these, at the time of our visit, about twenty 
were deaconesses and thirty novices, but the numberg 
necessarily vary. 

The d^acone§s comes to the pastor with high certifi- 


cates as to character. He examines her motives, dis- 
covers whether any duties require her presence at home 
— for to these he always gives the first place — and even 
the deaconess must, at the call of her parents, return to 
them. Should no such claims exist, howev^er, she is 
received as a novice. As such she goes from one de- 
partment of the work to another. Under the super- 
intending deaconess, she spends a short time in the 
orphan-house, the training-schools, the hospitals, and 
the asylums. Thus she learns the duties of each de- 
partment. She has also learned meanwhile something 
of the compounding of medicines, sick cookery, the 
general management of the Institution, and tlie art of 
visiting the poor. All are taught to feel that it is not 
the amount or the greatness of the work done which 
meets with the approval of their Heavenly Father, but 
that His eyes are open to the most trivial action done 
out of love to Him. This is the spirit of the pastor, and 
he seeks to instil it into the hearts of all. 

Perhaps his personal character and that of Madame 
F, should have been sooner alluded to. In many of 
tlie rooms we saw a print representing a dying female, 
with the inscription underneath, " Rien que le renon- 
cement.*' These were the dying words of the first 
Madame Fliedner, the foundress of the Institution 

3 R 


The pastor married again. Madame F. is a wonderful 
woman. Who could guess that the kind, motherly 
person you saw walking about, with her knitting, or 
sitting in the garden, shelling peas for the evening 
meal, knows the history, character, disposition, and taste 
of every individual inmate of that great establishment. 
Every deaconess comes to her for counsel and direc- 
tion 3 every difficulty is submitted to her, from the 
question whether potatoes or beans are to be the staple 
vegetable for the ensuing week 3 what means are to be 
used with some refractory or neglected orphan 3 wnat 
deaconesses are best fitted to establish a branch institu- 
tion in some other and distant region. Never is she or 
her husband found bustling through the various depart- 
ments 3 the quiet evening walk with the pastor, the 
short consultation with Madame, unfold the characters 
and reveal the feelings of the community. Both have 
a peculiar talent for government 3 the former has quick 
msight into character. 

A very remarkable feature in the Institution is the 
chain of responsibility. Each deaconess is supreme, 
and apparently despotic in her own department. Each 
is trained to be capable of establishing and governing a 
similar institution in any part of the woild 3 yet each 
experiences the controlling influence of a master minci, 


and steadily adheres to the rigid discipline of sovereign 
authority. The novices are the pastor's peculiar care. 
Twice a week he gives them a course of instruction, 
which he also pursues when they become deaconesses. 
" To persons in such a state of mind, what passages of 
Scripture are most applicable on such occasions ?" etc. 
Thus he questions. In his own practical and simple 
manner he enforces their duties and suggests the true 
motive. Thus are the novices trained for a period ex- 
tending from one to three years. Then, if there be an 
unanimous testimony to their zeal and love, and if the 
pastor and Madame F. approve, they, on an appointed 
day, in the presence of other deaconesses, dedicate and 
devote themselves to the service of God (as in our con- 
firmation rite). They bind themselves as deaconesses 
for a period of live years. They are, nevertheless, at 
any time free to leave the Institution, paying, however, 
a certain sum for expenses incurred while there. They 
are free at any time to marry -, and, if required by pa- 
rents, etc., the pastor himself urges their return home. 
In any of these cases, however, they are expected to 
do good, as far as in them lies, to the souls and bodies 
of their friends and neighbours, bearing in their lives 
and conversation, the impress of those who have de- 
voted themselves wholly to the service of God. 

^ £ a 


Kaiserswerth is the parent, but it is not the only 
deaconess institution which exists. As opportunity has 
Afforded, the pastor has sent forth deaconesses, two 
and two. One hundred and twenty deaconesses are 
thus dispersed throughout Europe, and some parts of 
Asia. There are large and flourishing institutions at 
Paris, Strasburg, and Jerusalem -, and in many other 
places there are smaller establishments of the same 
kind. One at Smyrna has been lately founded. The 
French residents there wished to have educational ad- 
vantages for their children. Two deaconesses were sel.t 
from Kaiserswerth to perfect themselves in French at 
the Paris institution. There we saw them. At Kai- 
serswerth, some months later, we found preparations 
making for their departure, and have since heard of 
their arrival in Smyrna. They would begin by open- 
ing a school for those whom they came to instruct, 
occupying any spare time with the care and education 
of the native women. After a time an hospital would 
be added, and thus step by step would they advance. 
If, then, helpers at Smyrna were not to be found, 
Kaiserswerth would send other deaconesses to assist. 
Their labours are not, however, always so onerous. In 
France, where the sphere of the Protestant pastor's 
work is often too extensive for the powers of one man# 


a deaconess is sent to assist him. To her charge are 
committed the schools, the sick and the poor. Pastor 
Fhedner's training, with regard to visiting the poor, is 
very striking. ''If you enter a wretched cottage," he 
says, '' only to leave a tract, offer a few words of advice 
or read a chapter of the Bible, your words may be 
heard, but they will not often sink deep into the heart. 
But enter the cottage to help the wife and mother to 
add some comfort to her home, or to show her some 
better method of nursing the sick husband or child, 
then will the few words of warning or comfort find 
their way into the heart otherwise hardened against the 
story of peace. In the one instance you come only as 
the teacher, in the other as the friend and sympa- 

It is time that we should enter the house. A few 
steps lead to the door of the pastor's dwelling. We 
are admitted into a small parlour ornamented with 
garlands of flowers. Louisa Fliedner, the pastor's eldest 
daughter, receives us. These flowers are the orphans* 
love-token to their beloved pastor. Should we like to 
go over the Institution ? Louisa can speak a little 
English 'j she will be our guide. She speaks of the 
family love of the community. We go first into the 
orphan-house. In Prussia, eleven orphans are the ward* 


4-2^. APPENDIX. 

of the king, and receive, if necessary, a certain allow- 
ance for their support and education. This, when they 
are received into any institution, is paid for their main- 
tenance. The orphans all receive the same training 
as children. At fifteen they have to take a prominent 
part in the responsible household duties — cooking, wait- 
ing on strangers — everything except washing, which is 
done in the penitentiary. At seventeen their powers 
are known -, they may be received as novices, be sent 
forth as servants or apprentices, or received into the 
training-school in order to become governesses. When 
ready, situations are found for them, and they are sent 
out well provided for. Many, after a few years, have 
returned, and of their own free choice have become 

Behind the orphan-house is the penitentiary. Here 
few visitors are admitted. The washing of the esta- 
blishment is chiefly done by these women. But what 
is found to be most peculiarly beneficial to their cha- 
racter is, their outdoor employment, of which they be- 
come very fond. One of the deaconesses, herself a 
peasant, used to countr}'' labour, has trained them in the 
care of the dairy, garden and farm. 

The '^seminariste," or training-school, is peculiarly 
interesting. Hither, from all parts of Germany, come 


young girls to be trained as governesses and school 
teachers. A clever governess, not a deaconess, super- 
intends their education. They must, before they come, 
have attained a certain degree of proficiency. A por- 
tion of the day is allotted for their own instruction, the 
remainder to that of others. A village school is at- 
tached to the Institution. Its teacher has most won- 
derful energy, and the art of fixing the undivided at- 
tention of the children on the lesson before them. The 
seminarists listen to her teaching. Each, in turn, on 
her appointed day, repeats to the children a lesson 
which she has herself received from the tutor of the 
establishment, and rehearsed before him. He listens, 
and afterwards points out to her, in private, how she 
might have made this point clearer, or that more in- 
teresting. At the play-hours of the infant-school chil- 
dren, the teachers join in the games. They give les- 
sons in botany, history, and geography to more ad- 
vanced classes. They also teach reading, writing, and 
arithmetic to children in the hospitals. In the one 
large building are contained, in various departments, 
men, women, children, and infants, suffering from 
every disease, principally scrofula and consumption, in 
various forms. A little dispensary is attached to the 
building. The deaconesses are all skilled in the cvw^ 


pounding of medicines 3 but the dispensary sister was 
regularly apprenticed to the business. A physician 
visits twice a day, but neither he nor the assistant pastor 
resides in the Institution. There is also a kitchen for 
the preparation of sick food exclusively. On a large 
board is marked down the number of meals of each 
kind of food required for the day. Each hospital has 
its own superintending sister, assisted by novices ; and, 
in the men's hospital, by male nurses also. The clean- 
liness and the comfort which reign here, cannot be 
described. Every deaconess gives part of her spare 
time to reading to the sick, besides the morning and 
evening general reading and prayer, and the frequent 
visits of the pastors. But the most delightful thing 
of all is the infants' hospital, where the poor little 
sufferers receive all the care a tender mother could 

Under the same roof with the hospital is the church 
of the institution. Large windows opening from some 
of the sick wards afford to the inmates opportunities oi 
joining in the services, which they much enjoy. It is 
a most affecting sight to look up and see the sick and 
anxious faces which crowd around them. 

The lunatic asylum is not far distant. Here are re- 
ceived the rich, who pay as in other institutions, and the 


poorer, who pay according to their means. As the asylum 
is self-supporting, the number of poor received is regu- 
lated by the overplus from the payment of the others. 
Everything to soothe and alleviate is here provided — 
a garden, musical instruments, books, etc. At the 
head of the asylum is Louisa Fliedner. Though only 
about twenty-two years of age, she has a peculiar 
talent for the management of the patients, of whom 
she is extremely fond. There are several deaconesses 
under her. Occupation and amusement are the prin- 
cipal modes of cure. Those who wish have lessons in 
music, singing, languages, etc. Every day the patients 
go out to walk, either together or singly, with a dea- 
coness. Singing is much used to soothe and quiet 
them when excited. Every birthday and holiday brings 
some special amusement. They much enjoy a picnic 
party, one of which we witnessed on our second visit. 
They all walked out to a little farm, where tables and 
benches had been placed for them in the garden. 
Many of them assisted in the preparations for the 
repast, during which cheerful conversation wais main- 
tained. The deaconesses were apparently occupied 
with their own amusements, but every movement of 
the patients was closely watched. Some of the party 
went out in a little boat; others walked along the 


banks of the river. On one occasion a girl attempted 
to drown herself by jumping into the river. Louisa 
Fiiedner said^ quietly, *'The water will spoil your 
clothes," and walked on apparently unconcerned. The 
girl immediately came out and followed her home. 
The day we saw them, all were quiet, and seemed to 
have great enjoyment of their little expedition. Our 
visit to the lunatic asylum over, we returned to the 

Having finished our inspection of the establishment 
we re-entered the little parlour into which we had 
first been ushered. Here we found the pastor and 
Madame Fiiedner. Their simple and earnest manner 
pleased us much, though at our first visit we had not 
the opportunity afterwards afforded us of becoming 
intimately acquainted with them. They had coffee, 
black (rye) and wheaten bread and syrup for us 5 real 
coffee for the strangers, the usual repast being rye 
coffee only. 

The pastor had but that morning returned from a 
tour in England -, but though much fatigued was full 
of energy, desirous to excite all to some active exertions 
in the cause of God. But it was already late, and 
we were obliged to shorten our visit. We had seen 
enough, however, to convince us that the spirit of love 


which animated the whole establishment was deeply 
rooted in the hearts of those who originated, and who 
now conduct the Deaconess Institution of Kaisers- 


''Every Httle helps" is a proverb, the truth of which 
one daily learns. Could one only extract from each 
individual with whom one comes in contact the ''little" 
in which one could learn from him, what "help" our 
intercourse with others might be ! But as some do not 
know how to give, or others how to draw forth the 
particular thought, or experience, or fact, by which 
they might be mutually helped, so is it when we seek 
to guide or influence public opinion with our pen : we 
scarce know how we may best frame the machinery 
which will most powerfully act on those many minds. 
There are no universal points of contact between dif- 
ferent minds, but there are some few almost universal 
sympathies in human hearts. A writer's aim must 
therefore be to make as many familiar chords as pos- 
sible vibrate, so that when he would send into any 

* This was written in the summer of 1853, and appeared in the 
April number of the * Dublin University Magazine/ 1859. 


heart a new and hitherto unheard whisper, there may 
not be discord but harmony — a new chord struck, and 
yet resolving itself into familiar notes. Perhaps for 
benevolent women there are in the present day few 
such vexed questions as is that of Sisterhoods. Would 
that each worker in a sisterhood, or female community, 
could contribute her " little *' to that help which 
theorists require in forming opinions on the subject. 
And in this case it must be practical experience which 
alone can mould theory. * * - * 

Religious Institution at Kaiserswerth. 

Dr. Howson justly says, '' If we were to single out 
one religious peculiarity of Kaiserswerth as conspicuous 
above the rest, it would be the close and discriminating 
study of the Bible." 

In this respect I had several disadvantages during my 
stay at Kaiserswerth. When I first arrived, my igno- 
rance of the language prevented my following more 
than the general scope of preaching or teaching. The 
deafness I suffered from latterly was a great hindrance 
after I became more familiar with the language, and 
the absence of Pastor Disselhof during the greater parf 
of my stay, put a stop to his most instructive classes. 


There are, however, by rule, three Bible- classes 
weekly, and two prayer-meetings, besides the two Sun- 
day services and the catechetical class held in the chapel. 
Pastor Strieker, the chaplain of the institution, holds 
two Bible-classes, in which the same subject is studied, 
that all may have the opportunity of attending. Nor 
is their attendance optional -, everything is by rule at 
Kaiserswerth, and the roll-call gives occasion to inquiry 
into causes of absence. Pastor S. also conducts the 
Sunday afternoon catechetical class. The week-day 
subject is the Augsburg Confession proved from Scrip- 
ture 3 the Sunday teaching is on the Epistles, but com- 
paring Scripture with Scripture is the principle of both. 
Pastor S., though very earnest aixl devoted, and one 
who is universally respected, is not an interesting or 
attractive teacher or preacher. His peculiar manner 
and intonation make it difficult even for Germans to 
follow him, till accustomed to his voice and accent. 
He speaks low and rather thickly, so that great atten- 
tion is required. He is a Calvinistj Pastor Fhedner, 
a Lutheran 3 and both Calvinists and Lutherans are 
found in the Institution. High Lutherans are, how- 
ever dreaded, as our Ritualists would be, and if any 
such tendency is found in a sister, she is at once re- 
moved. Pastor Pisselhof, when at home, has aiso 


these duplicate classes, taking the statutes of the Insti- 
tution as the starting point, and following each part 
through the Scripture teaching on the subject. These 
are most interesting and instructive classes. Pastor S. 
is very strong on the vital doctrines of Christianity j 
Pastor D., on the duties of the Christian. Pastor 
Fliedner's rare but valuable addresses are on the privi- 
leges of the Christian ; these the others rarely, if ever, 
touch upon. But every word of Pastor F.'s addresses 
and prayers seems weighty -, there is a depth and 
spirituality about him one does not find so much in 
the others. As a preacher and teacher. Pastor D.'s 
manner, voice, language, and suggestive ideas, are very 
delightful, but Pastor F.'s words seem such food for 
the soul, such strengthening words. His chest affec- 
tion, however, in winter, almost wholly prevents his 
even appearing in the chapel for months together, 
nor does it allow him sufficient use of his voice to 
permit his teaching much. He held but one of his 
classes while I was there, but that one made me feel 
their value. The Psalms are almost his text-book 
of the Bible, and with them and their hymn-book he 
expects the sisters to be quite familiar. What psalm 
and hymn suit such frames of mind or conditions of 
body? or times of joy ? or trial? And at once you 


must specify both number and verse. Madame Fliedner 
has a most valuable class for the Probationer sisters 
during the last six months of their probation, which is 
spoken of most highly. For this I was not, however, 
eligible. One of the head sisters has a class for novices 
and deaconesses who from any cause have not been 
sufficiently prepared beforehand to profit by Pastor D.'s 
class. Every fourth Sunday evening the sisters meet 
to read over the Institution rules, and once a month 
there is a large meeting in the Hall of all connected 
with the Institution to hear the report of the month's 
proceedings, both in the parent home and m its out- 
posts ; extracts from all letters received being read. 
Here also probationers who have come during the 
month are publicly received, enrolled, and welcomed, 
the sisters singing the appointed hymn of welcome. 

Religious Privileges, 

The Scripture to be read during the day by each 
Sister is arrano-ed in the ^' Bibel Lese Tafel." The 


morning portion is read verse about by the sisters 
around the breakfast table, by the head sisters in each 
station or post both at home and abroad, a hymn having 
first been sung. All then stand, and a sister prays. 


This at the breakfast and supper-table devolves on 
an elder sister, but every one must be prepared to offer 
an extempore prayer either when conducting family 
prayer in her ward, or when as novice or deaconess she 
is with individuals during the day needing such help. 
The psalm for the day, and the text or motto which 
seem to sum up the lesson of the Old and New Testa- 
ment lessons for the day, are read after dinner, to 
which is added, once a week, a portion of some me- 
moir. From 3.30 to 4 daily the chapel is open for the 
" Stille Stunde," the invaluable half-hour for prayer 
and meditation which every one is expected to attend 
at least twice a week. The chapel is chosen not so 
much as a sacred as a quiet spot. A verse of a hymn 
is sung, and then solemn stillness reigns while each, 
according to her inclination, divides the time between 
her Bible, prayer, and meditation. The blessing pro- 
nounced by one of the elder sisters marks the close, 
and with fresh energy all return to work. Two even- 
ings in the week family prayer is replaced by the 
prayer-meeting in the chapel : singing, prayer, and 
reading a portion of Scripture, without explanation, 
occupy the hour. All the branch establishments and 
special cases are mentioned. On these occasions only^ 
the habit of kneeling in prayer was observed 5 standing 


was the position usually adopted in prayer and in the 
receiving of the Communion. It was the same at 
Strasburg. Most interesting were the special prayer- 
nu;etings in time of special need, and the subsequent 
thanksgiving-meetings 5 also the daily Litany used 
the week before the consecration of deaconesses. The 
celebration of the Communion was monthly, and was 
necessarily a long service. An appropriate hymn was 
sung almost continuously, and allowed of all taking 
part who felt inclined. Your Bible and prayer might 
occupy you before and after receiving, without the 
singing being any interruption. First all the males 
connected with the Institution received, then the dea- 
conesses, then followed the novices, standing in semi- 
circles round the raised dais, where stood the pastors. 
At Kaiserswerth the Holy Communion was adminis- 
tered as with us j at Strasburg, where the doctrine on 
the subject seemed as pure, the wafer is used. But in 
all the deaconess institutions an English person is struck 
by the partial Sabbath observance. Sunday is the day 
for letter writing, for receiving visitors, for special ex- 
cursions, even for commencing a journey, if late in the 
day. Time is allowed for longer walks, not for longer 
retirement and privacy. Indeed, for those in charge of 
the sick, it is a peculiarly busy day. J\o one who has 

2 F 


not been at Kaiserswerth knows what the extra work 
is on the day the sick receive their visitors. Yoii are 
also to devote yourself specially to make the day a 
pleasant one to your charge 3 and when these are chil- 
dren, toys are brought out, with which you must amuse 
them, but you must prevent noise. Then the extra 
work of preparing those who are able for the services, 
having them and yourself ready for the 9.30 service 5 
arranging the afternoon meal, service, and visitor time, 
to make all fit in, and then be ready for evening 
prayer at 8 — all is calculated to make Sunday a bustling 
day, rather than one of rest ; and it would not be pos- 
sible to perform all duties, were not the wise and help- 
ful arrangement made that some of the pupils in the 
training-school should give voluntary help when re- 
quired, under the direction of the superintending sister. 

Instruction of Deaconesses and those tinder their 


The deaconesses themselves are of course more or 
less educated 3 as novices they learn to read and write 3 
I believe no deaconess is consecrated before she can do 
so 3 those who like may continue to attend the evening 
class held by one of the teaching sisters. From among 


these latter and the pupils in the training-school are 
chosen those who can hold classes in the hospital 
wards and lunatic asylum. The children are taught 
reading, writing, and arithmetic, also Scripture history 3 
the lunatics learn music, singing, languages, in fact a 
variety of things, also fancy needlework. 

The head sister of each ward conducts family prayer 
night and mornings reading the portion appointed j 
giving a few words of practical comments adapted to 
her hearers -, the customary hymn is sung and the 
service closed with extempore prayer. For this and for 
her remarks on the chapter read, the sister is expected 
to take thought beforehand, in order to be appropriate 
and concise. 

During the day each under her charge must have 
teaching according to their circumstances. The head 
sister appoints to her novices, a certain number thus to 
look after 5 sometimes directing the subject and portion 
of Scripture, sometimes leaving the choice free. They 
are always liable to be called on by the pastor or chap- 
lain for an account of these teachings j their selection 
and reason for it 3 the special subject of prayer with 
this or that patient. If any die, a very minute account 
is required of the knowledge they had of his or her 
frame of mind -, their reasons for the opinion they have 

2 F 2 


formed. Only once was I called upon for this, but I 
felt it must be invaluable when repeated. The chap- 
lain himself being constantly with the patients can 
verify the report, and form his conclusions as to theit 
judgment and teaching. 

Tra'ui'ing of Prolationers, 

They are divided into two classes — the "newly 
arrived " and the '' further advanced 5" these are under 
separate superintendence, but both classes are specially 
looked after by the sister appointed for the duty, 
besides the superintendent of the department in which 
they work and the general supervision of Sister Sophia 
Wagner, whom we may call superintendent-general. 
The ''newly arrived " have their apartments separate 
from those of the other probationers and deaconesses 5 
they have their own table, and their meals and walks 
are taken with the sister near whom they sleep. When 
a probationer arrives to begin her noviciate, the pastor 
knows part of her early history, as this, together with 
certificates from a medical man and clergyman, she is 
required to furnish him, with a short sketch of her life 
and the motives which have led her to Kaiserswerth. 
The probationer on arriving is kept very quiet in the 


suite of rooms belonging to her class; she reads and 
writes with her companions, wl o may have come at 
the same time, and the superintending sister, who thus 
becomes acquainted with her character j she learns the 
rules — gets some general idea of the order of the house, 
but her duties consist chiefly in punctual attendance at 
the different classes, prayer meetings, etc. -, and how 
much some have to learn in this way, and what 
patience even this preliminary training requires in their 
superintending sister ! ! You meet one of these novices 
flying along in the wrong direction, carrying an armful 
of books which she is always letting fall. She has 
heard a class is to be held, does not know if it is hers -, 
— then you see sister E. coming in search of her; she 
is not where she ought to be at that hour, or she has 
perhaps seated herself in a wrong class. 1'he rule of 
assembling all classes a quarter of an hour before time 
is most necessary, — the sister goes round, sees who is 
there and who is not, and has time lo seek the absentee 
before the teacher arrives 3 also those who are to be 
taught have time to collect their thoughts, arrange 
note-books, etc. For six weeks or two months the 
novice is thus watched -, perhaps after tlie first few 
days, her head-quarters are the work-room, where, as 
all the deaconesses' clothes are made in the Institution, 


there is plenty of employment, besides every deaconess 
must be a good needle-woman, and the beauty of their 
work is very great. In this room are always staid elder 
sisters, also partial invalids, but its atmosphere is eleva- 
ting 5 the almost constant singing of the workers makes 
the novices acquainted with the tunes and hymns of 
the Institution. But all this time the most minute 
points of character and conduct are attended to -, at 
first great failings are attacked 3 untidiness in dress, un- 
punctuality, etc. with hints rather than general direc- 
tions on other points, for there is gentle kindness on 
this subject, not always reproving, but striving by 
degrees to mould the character and by love to beget 
love. Sister E. is most loving, and yet very firm -, 
quick-sighted and discriminating, yet able to make 
allowances, but above all, herself such an earnest 
Christian and devoted deaconess as to be a valuable 
friend and pattern for all. The change a few weeks 
effects in these novices is marvellous. You are no 
longer struck with the harsh voice and manner and 
heavy foot; a half-subdued eagerness only now and 
then revealing what has been, and so this two-month- 
old probationer is placed under the care of Sister Anna 
and begins the real active Institution life, having 
special duties assigned to her. 
[Here this paper ends abruptly.] 



This Deaconess Institution is very peculiarly situated. 
It lies in the country^ between Lausanne and Yverdun. 
A very rough road leads from the Edessiers railway 
station, and a most primitive post-chaise brings you to 
the neighbouring village of La Sarray. This, small as 
it is, is the post-town and important shop emporium of 
the district. It has its free and established churches, 
and the schools in connection with both are attended 
by the children from the knots of houses which scarce 
deserve the name of villages, and lie scattered over the 
surrounding country. These have mostly their churches, 
though the pastor of each can hardly have loo souls 
under his care. Leaving La Sarray, a very lovely road 
leads the visitor in about half an hour to the first of 
these village spires. The one street has its fountain, 
where the women are washing; little ragged children, 
pigs and poultry, dogs and general untidiness are unlike 
the usual Protestant cantons. You pass on up a slight 
ascent by a river and among trees, to a very curious 
rock-encircled spot, where, above the village and com- 
manding the whole extent of country, stand three or 
fpur detached buildings. Here again, is a fountain, 


at which a female in deaconess attire is busy. She 
cordially welcomes the stranger^ and will seek Mon- 
sieur le Pasteur. A narrow passage leads you past the 
kitchen to a good-sized sitting-room, which, opening on 
A ^mall but homelike garden, has an air of comfort 
even in its simplicity. A few flowers and fewer books; 
portraits of reformers and remarkable pastors 5 a few 
photographs of sisters, and you have all the adorn- 
ments. A large number of chairs, several tables, with 
a very old-fashioned sofa, are all the uncarpeted room 
contains. Soon the daughter of the house appears, and 
in a very French manner receives her former friend ; 
old Kaiserswerth memories are revived -, Julie is full of 
regrets at the absence of her father and mother, the 
heads of the Institution, but the visitor has spent the 
last twenty-four hours with them at the residence of 
their lately widowed daughter. Their representatives 
are soon introduced; Monsieur and Madame Henri 
Germond, who have lately given up their home to 
assist his aged parents in their almost too heavy charge 
of carrying on the work begun in days of greater vigour. 
The first impressions of these future heads were 
deepened on further acquaintance. Madame is a 
young and pretty woman, earnest and conscientious, 
but too much absorbed in her children to make the 


Institution her fir^t care ; perhaps she is too newly 
come to feel her responsibilities with respect to it. 
Her husband is a naturally reserved man, a deep 
thinker^ fond of study and of teaching, more suited 
perhaps for the training of young men than for guiding 
women. A great deal of quiet humour and a store of 
appropriate anecdotes make him a pleasant person in 
general society, and he seems always to try to have 
some improving and suggestive idea. Could he have 
chosen to follow his taste in every way, I am sure his 
life would have been spent in deep study ; he would 
have written much and ably ; given lectures on reli- 
gious and philosophical subjects, and perhaps taken 
some of the head classes in the colleges or had young 
men to read with him -, and yet, hear him in family 
prayer, in his weekly lectures, and those in the wards, 
and those more especially for the sisters, and also in the 
more general Sunday services ; talk to him about the 
difficulties of the work, its snares for individuals, its 
general results, or consult him as a friend respecting 
your own future, and you feel there is an earnestness 
of purpose about himself, a power of sympathy with 
others, a perception of character, and also of duty, and 
above all, a simple seeking to know and to follow God's 
way and the leadings of His providence, and of bring- 


ing everything to His footstool 3 so that what Monsieur 
Henri Germond says is not so much what impresses 
you as that where he seeks wisdom, you too may find 
guidance, — all this makes one feel that he has much 
that will in time adapt him for the responsible work 
he has undertaken. As yet he is not wholly given to 
it 3 as yet his quick temper is not perhaps sufficiently 
under restraint 3 as yet he is more the chaplain of the 
Institution than its head. Perhaps while his father and 
mother reside there he does not, even in their long and 
frequent absences, sufficiently feel himself the respon- 
sible person. During my visit the Institution suffered 
from this 3 there seemed no one to regulate those 
minute and daily varying details, which, insignificant as 
they appear, are in fact the school in which the 
deaconess character is moulded. Neither were there 
over each department the disciplined elder sisters, whose 
quiet influence and deportment so insensibly form the 
younger members of the community. Too many of 
these had been draughted to outposts, and the Mother 
House seemed altogether to be in the kind of normal 
state one might imagine a newly-established work 
would present. The order and regularity, the clock- 
work precision of other institutions, were wanting. Very 
glaring defects in novices seemed scarcely perceived^ pr 


rather perhaps one ought to say, there was none of 
that close supervision of them in their work by which 
the character is so thoroughly discovered. A novice, 
for hours left alone with her patients, may give way to 
temper, impatience, and indolence, without being sus- 
pected of these failings, for even among Christians we 
find too many eye-servants. You often asked your- 
self, — Has Kaiserswerth more sterling material to work 
upon ? Is the German more solid than the Swiss 
character? and yet when you visited St. Loup 
deaconesses in other districts, you felt their training haa 
been different from what those in the house during my 
visit were receiving. Still there was a something- 
wanting. There is a refinement, a courtesy, a quiet 
self-possession about Kaiserswerth deaconesses, I have 
not found elsewhere as a rule. Elsewhere you find it 
in individuals 3 at Kaiserswerth, it stamps the com- 
munity. There are, nevertheless, many exceptions. 
Pastor Germond and the mother are the most warm- 
hearted and genial of any of the " Heads " I have seen. 
They have benevolence beaming in every feature, and 
as they enter a ward, old and young look to them as 
to parents. Ever with a cheerful and cheeiing word 
for each j a look or a shake of the hand which makes 
cne aiost complaining feel they hav^ some one who 


sympathizes, and for the day every one who has seen 
either M. or Madame G. is cheered by the remembrance 
of their visit. Ask any one what did they say to you, 
and you feel heart spoke to heart. '^ The sun always 
shines the day they have been among us," is the usual 
expression, and you scarcely feel it exaggerated when 
you witness the genial effect. On one distinc- 
tive feature of this Institution, Pastor Germond prides 
himself. At dinner and supper, all the workers meet 
at a common table. At the head sit the Pastor and 
the Mother^ any strangers next, and then the elder 
sisters, novices, convalescents from among- the patients, 
and then the farm servants. 

There is little conversation, but usually during the 
meal the Pastor or Mother tell some news of general 
interest, or relate some anecdote respecting a Reformer, 
or some other remarkable character. 

Morning and evening prayer is conducted as follows. 
A hymn is sung, a portion of Scripture read and ex- 
plained, then an extempore prayer is offered, in which 
the different branch institutions are specially remem- 
bered, and any particular cases are mentioned. The 
Pastor visits the sick daily, taking a certain number, 
but never passing those who are very ill without a few 
words of prayer and a text or two, followed by some 
simple words. 


The sisters are expected to read and pray with the 
patients^ but I never could find that they had much 
special teaching to prepare them for this. The Pastor 
gives a weekly lecture in each ward^ and I think when 
old Madame G. was at home^ she used to come every 
afternoon to read a chapter^ followed by a simple ex- 
planation. On Sunday, all who are able, go to La 
Sarray to the curious '^ upper room/' where the Pa:>tor 
conducts the Free Church services for all who choose 
to attend. For the afternoon service his dining-room 
is thrown open to the public. Here, too, is held a 
kind of weekly lecture for the sisters. This is varied 
according to circumstances. When several elder sisters 
are present, it is a kind of '^ conference," and bears 
that name 3 when otherwise, a portion of Scripture is 
read which seems specially applicable;, — some duty in- 
culcated, perhaps some reproof administered, which the 
past week has shown to be needful -, but I did not hear 
of any catechetical mstruction, of which there is so 
much at Kaiserswerth. As usual, one is struck with 
the ver}'- partial observance of the Sabbath. On a Sun- 
day afternoon I first explored the place, and may there- 
fore here describe the situation of the house. It stands 
on an eminence, in fact the ground is curiously cut 
away in front, so that house and garden seem to be on 


a high terrace 3 below is a little village, and a noisy 
stream winds among shrubs and trees to the left 3 a 
vast expanse of rather flat ground stretches before you, 
rich fields, a few trees, and scattered knots of houses, 
and then, far away, but beautifully distinct in clear 
weather, Mont Blanc, in his greatest magnificence, and 
all the snowy Alpine range. I never saw Mont Blanc 
as I have seen him from this neighbourhood. He in- 
deed stands forth the '^ monarch " from amid his at- 
tendant '* guards." Nor is the prospect less imposing 
when partial mists leave much hidden grandeur to the 
imagination to picture -, then there is often a solemn 
majesty in the scene, unfelt when unclouded sunlight 
reveals it in all its dazzling splendour. Behind the 
house, enclosing its apparent domain, or rather fields, 
is a very curious semicircular wall of rock, about 50 
feet high, from which there is no apparent egress; 
from the summit the Alpine panorama is complete. 
In the part nearest the house is the apparently exca- 
vated cavity where the " Patron Saint ^' of the district 
led his hermit life. I suppose from his lofty eyrie St. 
Loup saw somewhat of human misery, for he descended 
to erect, where tiie Institution now stands, a home or 
refuge for the sick. Thus St. Loup is an ancient 
establishment, and as at Kaiserswerth, we find a 
modern work on a very ancient basis. 


The art of nursing is not in very great perfection 
here. The sisters seem to have no routine of work 5 
they have their appointed posts, certainly, but not the 
Kaiserswerth organization 3 in fact, no other institution 
of the kind that I know, has. Nor is the daily walk 
the rule as there, nor the midday half-hour for private 
prayer, nor the after-dinner portion of the Psalms, nor 
the appointed Scripture lessons for morning and even- 
ing reading, nor the connecting daily text, all of which 
are the Kaiserswerth links between its widely scattered 
members. A St. Loup sister goes daily to hold her 
school at La Sarray, and is most admirably fitted for 
the post. Here novices can be trained in this branch 
of the work, the mother house consistmg merely of 
a hospital. At La Ferriere, about three miles distant, 
four sisters have an orphan house and Cripples' Home. 
At Lausanne, three sisters manage a children's hospital, 
and at Vevey others are engaged in the same work. 
In fact several Swiss towns are their spheres of labour, 
and when one sees them thus, one is more favourably 
impressed with the general stamp of the character of 
St. Loup deaconesses than by those one has found at 
the parent Institution. Certain family circumstances in 
late years probably account for this. Perhaps also, now 
that ther^, is more religious freedom in Switzerland^ 


those who would be earnest workers do not so much 
feel the need of an institution to give them shelter and 
support. The days are past when, in a Protestant 
Canton, Pastor Germond was imprisoned for venturing 
to assemble a few friends in his own house for reading 
God's Word and prayer. The Free Church, though 
not sharing all the privileges of the established, is 
equally tolerated, but its ministers and members are 
not so much the chosen band they used to be. I saw 
the Institution at St. Loup under most unfavourable 
circumstances J the real heads were little there. I saw 
a good deal of them, but not much of their actual 
work. The Gospel appeared to be simply and fully 
taught, and God's word to take its proper place. Much 
good has been done by this unpretending Institution, 
and much more we trust may arise. God's blessing 
upon it is so earnestly and constantly sought, that 
doubtless He will not withhold, but shower down rich 
grace on its sisters. 


This Deaconess Institution is more exclusively under 
female management than either St. Loup, Kaiserswerth, 
or Strasburg. Its president is not a pastor, and though, 


when in the neighbourhood, lie is constantly consulted, 
the detail of the work is entirely in the hands of Sister 
Trinette, or Trina, as she is commonly called. She 
was selected for this work by Monsieur Spittler, 
who^ as she says, almost forcibly carried her from hei 
father's house to take the conduct of the embryo hos 
pital, into which patients were bribed to enter. The 
physician tells most amusing stories of the rate of pay- 
ment which certain cases required to induce them to 
trust themselves to the gentle sister. At Reihen the 
educated element among the sisters is quite the excep- 
tion 3 when I was there, but one could help with cor- 
respondence or accounts, and this she did not always 
choose to do. The sisters are chiefly of the peasant 
class, and nursing is their sole occupation. The medical 
man visits daily : the institution is his pride and hobby, 
and he looks upon it as his child j but he takes more 
the philanthropic than the Christian view with regard 
to it. Such is not, however, the case with Monsieur 
Bischoff, the president, who tries to deepen and con 
solidate its Bible foundation. A pastor from Basle 
comes weekly to instruct the sisters, but neither his 
teaching nor the ministry they attend struck me par- 
ticularly. In the neighbouring Deaf and Dumb Insti- 
tvition they have very helpful Sunday afternoon services 

2 a 



and the heads of that institution maintain an elevating 
Christian fellowship with the sisters. There is great 
simplicity in all the arrangements 3 the usual deaconess 
cleanliness and order pervade the institution. The phy- 
sician, who is also a surgeon, takes mich pains in train- 
ino" the sisters and novices in the nursing department, 
and his quick eye detects the slightest disorder or 
irregularity, on which he does not fail to remark. 
Sister Trinette is the most simple and humble-minded 
Christian, and has gentle, winning, affectionate man- 
ners. Perhaps as head, she ought to exact more respect, 
and yet she can act with great decision. One or two 
elder sisters are rather self-willed, which is of course 
bad as example to the younger 3 but over the latter the 
gentle firmness of Sister Trina seems to have the proper 
influence, and perhaps the beautiful humility with which 
she submits to the often troublesome elder sisters more 
■strengthens her position than would the absolute asser- 
tion of her rights. Here again, the workers at out- 
posts show the results of the training more than do 
the unformed characters found at the parent institu- 
tion. This is so small, that the head requires no me- 
dium sisters between herself and the novices, and she 
keeps up the correspondence with those at outposts. 
Basle has Reihen sisters in its town and children's hos- 


pitals^ and also in its prison. Reihen is also the parent 
of the Deaconess Institution at Zurich, of which more 
can be told, bat I believe Reihen sisters have never 
yet gone out of Switzerland. They are placed entirely 
under the control of the heads of the hospitals, etc., 
in which they work, and conform themselves to their 
rules, and thus differ from the Kaiserswerth sisters^ 
who must always work in the Kaiserswerth groove^ 
and submit to no direction or guidance but that of 
their own pastor. On no account must they modify 
the rule in which they have been trained, without very 
special and rarely granted permission. The Sabbath is 
more observed in Reihen than in any other similar in- 
stitution I have seen, and this may be traced to Monsieur 
Bischoff^s acquaintance with and admiration for En- 
glish customs. A committee of ladies meet occasionally 
to advise Sister T., but this is only nominal, the meeting 
being more to hear of the work. The president usually 
lays before the ladies the most important occurrences 
of the past few months, and Sister Trina consults them 
upon any domestic arrangements, as the necessary re- 
newal of linen, blankets, etc. This is, I believe, their 
only rtai business, as Sister Trina is so trusted that 
advice to her, or sanction to her proceedings, is given 
only when she herself seeks it. Some idea may be 

a G a 


formed of the un-English simplicity of Reihen when we 
picture to ourselves the Committee-room containing 
two beds. They are certainly not in constant use, but 
being the only spare room in the house, it serves a 
variety of purposes, and amongst others, it is the sleep- 
ing apartment of strangers or sisters who may return 
temporarily. The Deaconess Institution at Reihen and 
the missionary training-school at Crischona were once 
in close connection, and had union prayer-meetings 
(though the deaconesses never prayed publicly). Too 
many marriages, however, were the result of this inter- 
course, which has now been entirely stopped -, not that 
marriage is forbidden, or discountenanced, in any of 
the deaconess houses ^ it is rather looked upon as the 
necessary and providential discipline of some characters, 
though the impression generally seems to be^ that if a 
deaconess marries, she will have some special trials, and 
certainly a number of cases are enumerated of dea- 
conesses who have been soon left widows, or have h?d 
struggluig lives with large families. In three cases I 
have myself known where I have seen the sister at her 
work, and after six or eight years found her as a 
married woman at the head of an institution, the 
care of husband and children has seemed to be almost 
all-engrossing, and I do not think she is able to attend 


to both family and institution duties. Madame Fliedner 
combines both in a wonderful manner, but overworks 
mind and body. So much devolves on those in re- 
sponsible positions in deaconess houses, — the intimate 
knowledge of the peculiar character of every sister and 
novice, what each is best fitted for, how the defects of 
each are to be counterbalanced and their strong points 
of character developed. How every part in the ma» 
chinery is to be formed into a perfect whole requires 
such attention to detail, as well as to general effect 
that the concentrated energies of one highly endowed 
individual would not suffice. Wisdom from above is 
daily, hourly needed to combine the jarring elements, 
and to draw forth the union and harmony which are the 
difficulty and yet the aim of such work. 


If we go back a few years in the history of the 
Reihen Institution, we shall find that some important 
matter is under long and serious discussion. Many 
prayers are offered up for the only sure wisdom and 
true guidance. Among the sisters there is one whom 
nature seems to have endowed with extraordinary 
powers of government, but to whom submission to 


authority seems almost impossible. She has many 
sterling quahties, much that is so truly excellent and 
estimable, that but for this one thing she would be in- 
valuable. A sincere and earnest Christian, and yet 
marring the work. No Institution can have two heads ', 
her influence is injurious, and yet are all these powers 
to be rejected ? Can they not be put to good account 

even in deaconess work ? Sister returns home for 

a while, and prayer is made by many on her behalf 
that the will of the Lord concerning her may be 
clearly discerned. Soon comes an appeal from Zurich j 
can Reihen give a head for an independent Deaconess 

Institution ? It is the very work for Sister , and 

she goes to Zurich to take her position in the small 
newly opened hospital at the end of the town. Nor 
does she go alone 5 this strong masculine character has 
attracted the little clinging Sister Julie Kleinst, who 
appears to have no decision of character, and may be 
led and moulded by any one to whom she is attached, 
but would never venture to offer or almost form an 
opinion of her own. It seemed as if she could only 
live in Sister — — 's presence, and, to use her own ex- 
pression, she followed her like a dog, lay at her feet by 
day as she sat at her desk, and slept in her room by 
night, ready to help Sister in anything, but too 


shy to work with others, almost shrinking from meet- 
ing the sisters at the common table, even when pro- 
tected by her guardian friend. Only one thing seemed 
at all to rouse her to independent action. Sometimes 

Sister was ill, and then, as her representative, the 

little shrinking Julie appeared in a new character. In 
less than a year Sister lay on her death-bed say- 
ing to her friend ^^You must take my place, — you 
alone know how matters have gone on hitherto -, in the 
Rock of Ages is everlasting strength, my child, and un* 
derneath are the everlasting arms." But Julie scarcely 
heard or heeded j but one thought was hers, alone in 
the world without her friend she could not live, — the 
same grave would surely hold them both. The blow 
came, but it was not crushing ; it seemed more as 
if the prophet's mantle, as of old, had fallen on her suc- 
cessor. She seemed to feel as if God Himself called 
her to the work, and spoke to her as to Jeremiah of 
old, and, tlierefore, when the committee elected her as 
head, she seemed to accept the post almost unques- 
tioningly. In a few months more the president, founder, 
and father of the little institution was laid in the same 
plot in '^ God's acre " as that which contained the now 

mouldering form of Sister . Julie seemed truly left 

alone 5 by those graves she stood and felt in Jier inm.ost 


soul a deeper assurance of her heavenly Father's presence 
and unfailing strength. And by these graves we stood as 
she told me this touching story. All was not bright, 
however 3 it needed the constant heavenly whisper, '' I 
am with thee/' perchance more the simple hearing of 
His voice, for with it perhaps was too much mingled 
the feeling as if the guardian angel of the last few years 
was still with her, though invisibly. Perhaps the jealous 
God would teach her to think only of His love and 
care. What had not the poor little shrinking Julie to 
suffer from the jealousies of the sisters, that that child 
should be put over them, that she who had hitherto 
needed constant guiding even in the minutest details 
of life should now guide them ! Oh, the lessons to be 
learned of weanedness from all creature help ! oh, the 
bitter tears shed in that secret chamber when learning 
the salutary lesson, '^ The Lord is friendly !" (Der Herr 
ist freundlich, the German translation of ''The Lord is 
good"). No earthly friend, no earthly adviser, but an 
ever present omnipotent and compassionate heavenly 
Friend. Months again passed over her, she had trial 
in her work but joy in her Lord. Then sickness came, 
severe dangerous illness 3 and with the startling convic- 
tion that they might soon lose their gentle timid head, 
there came to the sisters' minds a conviction of all their 


evil conduct towards her, and one vied wiih another in 
their care of her, and in united prayer they asked of 
the Lord forgiveness for their past neglect, and a token 
of that forgiveness, in their now dear sister's restoration 
to health. Long and tedious was her recovery, but now 
that bright and happy sister feels, amid all her work and 
trials too, that the Lord Himself has trained and is 
training her 3 and in this strength she goes on in her 
daily work, though the natural timidity sometimes peeps 
out, still she is happy in her position, and happy in the 
sisters' love. Sister Trinette at Reihen is not more re- 
spected than is the young Julie at Zurich, and there is 
more of harmony and real union and communion to be 
found in the institution governed by the latter. Here I 
first learned the inestimable value of our authorized 
translation of the Bible -, no one can imagine who has 
net tried it what difficulty and confusion in a Bible- 
class results, when its members read or repeat texts, one 
out of Luther's, another out oi Zwingle's Bible. Some- 
times in the social evening readings at family prayer, 
these slight differences threw great light on some pas- 
sage, bu^ this is when you have the Bibles open to- 
gether 5 it requires great familiarity with both to be 
able to refer to texts so differently quoted, and I was 
surprised to find such ignorai:ce of the Bibkvamong the 


deaconesses of the various Institutions I visited, com- 
pared with those of Kaisers werth. The study and 
famiharity vi^ith the Bible there inculcated and required 
is a very important and necessary point of imitation. 
At evening prayer at Zurich, the a])pointed portion is 
read verse about, and then the thoughts suggested by any 
passage are mentioned by any present 3 the head sister 
selecting a text from the chapter as the thought for the 
night. The sisters take it by turns to pray. 


Is a branch of Strasburg, but is a larger offshoot than 
are many independent deaconess homes. The work of 
the sisters here is threefold : first, the government hos- 
pital is under their care they conforming to certain re- 
gulations. It is a large well-organized institution, and I 
think it is one of those whose internal arrangements, as 
far as the plan of the building goes, are quoted by Miss 
Nightingale with approbation. 

Secondly, an old man's home under the care of an 
elderly sister. 

Thirdly, parochial deaconesses. These live in a 
separate house under the control of their own superin- 
tendent sister, and are quite distinct from those in the 
hospital. A few spare rooms are given up to form a 


small invalid home, but the business of these sisters is 
with the poor of the district. 

Mulhaus is a large manufacturing town, but the 
heads of the factories seem to vie with each other in 
providing for the comfort of their workpeople. The 
inhabitants are almost exclusively Protestants. Each 
sister has a certain district allotted to her 3 she is under 
a committee of ladies 3 the owner of the factory, 
among whose people she works, pays the rent of a 
small house for her in her district, and she has tlie 
charge of the fund allowed for the poor and sick of 
the quarter. In her little house the parish doctor 
meets his patients 3 she receives his orders respecting 
them, and compounds his prescriptions 3 she also ac- 
companies him in his visits, and attends to the carrying 
out of his wishes j in cases of necessity she sits up at 
night w^ith her patients, but on account of her heavy 
day-work this must not be too often. The deaconess 
has her appointed hours for visiting; at certain times 
her poor know they will find her in her mission-room, 
and there they come to her for counsel. She cuts 
out and gives out cloth to be made, which is after- 
wards sold at cost price. She has her servant and her 
garden, — the servant prepares the soup, which on cer- 
tain days is given to those who have tickets, and at 


Other times is specially made for invalids. When the 
sister is in her district, the servant receives any mes- 
sages which may be left for her 5 she also assists the 
sister in the garden, which is expected to provide the 
herbs and vegetables necessary for the soup. At night 
tlie sister returns to the " Home," though the house 
furnishes a bed-room, where in severe weather or un- 
der special circumstances she spends the night. The 
model sisters' house is that bult in connection with the 
remarkable '' Mulhausen Cite ouvriere," a most perfect 
provision for all the wants of working-men. 

Each little housi has four rooms, and is divided be- 
tween two families, each having their own small 
garden. A most comfortable eating-house, also bath 
and washing establishment, provide cheap comforts 
and save the women both labour and expense. The 
arrangements seem so perfect th .t it seems were such 
''Cites ouvrieres " more universally provided, the poor 
would almost cease out of our land, but even in 
Mulhaus all the poor are not so well provided for. 
As many of the parish sisters as are able return to 
the Home to dinner, and before jfgain returning to 
their work the little band kneel to ask that God's 
blessing may accompany them. The sisters here seem 
more one's ideal of trained Bible women than any- 



thins I have seen abroad, but the mothers' meetinor 
might be advantageously added to their system, and 
will probably sotn grow out of it, for ihoy are naturally 
hnerested in the ' Missing Link Magazine/ extracts 
from which constantly appear in one of" their weekly 
missionary periodicals. 



''And when one soldier falls, let ten pursue his way." 

ON one sad day in last February a very dear friend 
of our Mission took leave of earth for Heaven — 
'' sweet Agnes Jones/' ^^Dear Agnes/' admired and loved 
by all who knew her, died of typhus fever In her rooms 
in the Liv^erpool Workhouse Infirmary, where she had 
for three years voluntarily secluded herself from home, 
friends, and family as entirely as any foreign missionary, 
for the constant personal superintendence of that large 
institution, and the training of its paid nurses according 
to the plans of Miss Nightingale, who speaks of her 
loss as ^' irreparable." 

At the early age of thirty-five her self-sacrificing 
work is done, though its fruit and its example will long 
survive her. Her personal friends, with many a sigh 
for their own loss, had yet endeavoured cheerfully to 
resign her to her vocation, which was evidently that of 

* From 'The Missing Link Magazine ' for April, 1868. 


She was one of those serene, unselfish, and helpful 
women who seem to be horn nurses. There are many 
who can look back upon her from the time when, in 
her own bright home in the North of Ireland, she gave 
her days to tend the poor 5 setting off in her vigorous 
health and strength — whether sunbeams shone or rain 
poured down — over mountain and moor to the lonely 
cabins, where her visit was looked for like a ray of light 
beaming on body and soul 3 and from those walks, 
which would have annihilated most young ladies, she 
would often return amid drenching showers, as fresh as 
a rose, to the social evening circle — ever devoted to 
the service and pleasure of all around her. 

We love to remember her in her home at Fahan, by 
the side of Lough Swilly, or among the glorious rocks 
of Port Rush, or as she guided us over the wide sea- 
floors of the Giant's Causeway 3 but we knew her 
letter, and the memories of her vive dearer, as in after 
days she threaded the close courts and alleys of the 
back streets of our great city, when, for nearly a year, 
she took voluntary share in the toils and cares and joys 
of our London Bible Missions. She put aside all her 
passionate love for the lakes and mountains of her own 
green isle to yield herself to the service of God among 
brick walls and interminable houses^ and we thought 


she received a silent haptisai of lire in the times of the 
Irish revivals, which sent her forth from the quiet 
retirement she best loved with fresli purpose to com- 
fort Christ's poor and to minister to them in their 
afflictions. She came into contact with our Missions 
in the year 1861, and was well known to many a 
Bible woman in Whitechapel and Westminster. For 
two months she took the whole charge of the Mission 
during the absence of her friend in Switzerland, and in 
thevolumeof the 'Book and its Missions' for 1862 (now 
out of print) are many modest details of her loving 
superintendence of the Dormitory Houses (p. 20)5 
also a valuable paper on ' Mothers' Meetings, by one 
who has attended many of them ' (p. 128) ; also jottings 
from her visits in the districts, entitled 'All Round the 
Abbey ' and ' Walks in Drury Lane on New Year's 
Day.' From the latter we reprint a few details, which 
show not only the writer's gift for description, but the 
living sympathy with which she went about aU her 
work : — 

" JFalks in Drury Lane on New Years Day, 

'* I went this morning with our good Bible-woman 
to visit her district. She had a message to take to an 
artificial flower-maker, who attends her Mothers' Meet- 


iiig. She lives in a narrow, dirty back street, where 
too many closed shutters told of people still in bed, 
after ten o'clock in the morning. 

*' We met our friend in the street^ and followed her 
into her poor littlti room. A wretched baby in her 
arms and another little fellow, whose large head be- 
spoke disease, composed her family 3 the husband and 
father had gone out to seek work, and soon the old 
grandmother tottered in. It was difficult to decide 
the question whether this often fireless home could be 
more comfortable for her than the workhouse. Here 
she can get a little tea when the pence are to be had, 
there she would only have gruel -, here she may at will 
rise or spend the day in bed, there she must be up at 
six o'clock summer and winter 3 here she has her 
daughter and her liberty. These things she has weighed^ 
and chosen to remain as she is. 

''We wonder how fingers can make those pretty 
flowers, so fresh and clean, in this poor room, and we 
wonder, when wire and paper are bought, what the 
profit is ? But we have yet more important questions. 
It is pleasant to hear that she went last night to the 
evening service, that she was impressed by Mr. Gar- 
ratt's after words to a few poor women who like her« 
self remained behind, — words which being ' only for 

2 H 


themselves/ came home to them as individuals, and 
made her hope that as the year closed to her with 
spiritual blessing, so in the new year that blessing might 
more and more be hers. 

^^ Her husband and she sat together to see the new 
year in, reading alternately verses from God's Word, 
he helping her in her difficulties 5 for reading is to her 
a new art, and taught by the loving care of the Bible 
woman, who goes again and again till she finds the 
leisure moments, for the lesson is cheerfully given as it 
is gratefully received. 

*' The flower-maker told us of the sad state of her 
brother-in-law, and we went to visit hifn. In a poor 
room, whence, by degrees, every necessary piece of 
furniture is going into pledge (and where we found 
them at breakfast, cooked at a fire made from an old 
chair), sat this poor man and his wife. Two neatly 
packed parcels of wood were in readiness for the wife 
to seek customers for, and they were looking forward 
to the halfpence which would be gained if she were 
buccessful. I asked to see his bad leg, and it was sad 
to find a sore with nothing to keep it from the woollen 
stocking, and worse still to hear that even when he 
goes for surgical advice he is sent home with a box of 
ointment in his hand, it is true, but with no dressing on 


the wound, even when the probing has caused ii to 
bleed profusely. (We are always thankful to have 
supplies of rag sent to the Mission.) 

'^Another visit showed in what an extraordinary 
manner God may cause even a hardened sinner to 
feel that ^ He is love.' 

^^ Opposite a small fire, on one side of his bed, sat an 
old soldier. His whole appearance was striking. A 
tall, finely-made figure, and a noble-looking head, with 
a very remarkable expression of countenance, prepared 
one for something uncommon, but we scarcely ex- 
pected to find in him such an amount of Scripture 
knowledge, especially as he is blind. 

^^ His eyes were shaded, and one side of his brow 
much swelled. The Bible woman expressed her aston- 
ishment to see him up. Days and nights of intense 
agony, of pains in the head, are appointed to him, and 
he must bear them alone j yet not alone, for Jesus is 
with him, and to this he gave very remarkable testi- 
mony. He spoke of spiritual things as if they were to 
him indeed realities. 

'' He is dependent for many kind offices on the 
daughter of an early friend. Side by side in many 
a battle field her father and he had fought, and^ as he 

2 H 3 


proudly tells^ helped to change the 28th Regiment 
into Her Majesty's Grenadier Guards. The woman 
says he has been for years more than a father to her, 
and tenderly does she repay his care. She daily comes 
to do for him all he needs, sacrificing often half a day's, 
work if he needs her more than usual. 

" We asked, in reply to his expression that God 
loved him even at Waterloo, how long he had known 
that love : and then, having answered ^ Two years,' he 
began to tell us that it was not till the sudden death of 
his wife, near three years since, that he began to think 
of that love of God to himself. He had been^some- 
times employed as a shoemaker, but his failing sight 
prevented His earning much. He and his wife were in 
want, and they remembered that two shillings owing 
to them was unpaid. The wife started for Vauxhall 
Bridge, over which their debtor must pass on his way 
home, to remind him of the debt. 

" The husband detailed how far he had gorie with 
her, and how they parted as Big Ben was striking five 
o'clock, she promising to return by eight, and charging 
him to watch the kettle of bones and to keep up the 
fire, and hour after hour passed, and she came not. 
She never was out late ; she was always sober, — what 
could be the cause ? Somehow he thought she must 

40 9 

hav^e got into trouble, and he sought her at the police 
station. Xo tidings, and then he wc-nt on to the 
brido^e. He asked the waterman ; there was no mis- 
taking the description, but he could not tell the sad 
tale, and referred him to another person. Then he 
heard how she had been seen standing watching near 
the bridge, how all at once she fell, and had been 
taken to the hospital ^ his heart guessed the rest. 
Almost by force he procured admission to the dead- 
house. On a Ion or table lav a form covered with a 
sheet, — that he knew was his Maggy. He saw where 
the head had been opened, but was thankful the coun- 
tenance was unchanged 5 and then the surgeon told 
him that the woman must have been a sober and steady 
character, as such and such symptoms were wanting, 
and that death was caused by apoplexy. The pooi 
husband thought, perhaps caused by that cold stand 
upon the bridge to wait for the two shillings. 

''The only comfort he sought was the recovery of 
the remains, for which he had but forty-eight hours* 
space. He inquired about funeral expenses 3 they 
seemed far beyond him, but the family for which he 
worked being absent, the housekeeper collected among 
the servants 175.3 and this, with the voluntary assist- 
ance of neighbours in removing the body, enabled him 


to bury his dead, — and, reader, it taught him his first 
lesson of trust in God. These details he found it 
hard to give, but he seemed to hke to dwell on the 
minutest point. When he could say no more, we 
read and prayed, and on my remarking I feared we 
had tired him, he answered, ^ No 5 he could listen to 
such conversation for hours,' and so we parted. 

*' In a court where even the Clergyman, beloved as 
he is in the district, has been insulted, the Bible woman 
has access to many, and has canvassed every room 
concerning the possession of the Scriptures. In one, a 
savoury smell of dinner met us as the door opened, and 
there sat, so happily and comfortably, a man with his 
wife and children, enjoying a well-cooked dinner. 
Who would have guessed that three months ago that 
woman was scarcely ever sober ? She has been ill, and 
feels the sickness was God's enforcing of the lessons 
He had begun to teach her at the Mothers' class. 

" ^n another house v/e found a poor woman making 
trousers 3 her thumb was inflamed, and the w^ork stiff, 
and often her teetli had to pull through the needle , a 
deaf and dumb girl worked beside her. The lime of 
another is fully occupied taking home work and 
waiting for more^ and of the two other children a little 


girl is paid 6d, nightly for acting at Covent Garden 
Theatre in the ' Shells of the Ocean,' out of one of 
which she half crawls in her long green dress^ and 
seems to swim. A little fellow, looking only four 
years old, reads most beautifully, and repeats hymn 
after hymn, which the Bible woman gives him. The 
mother is not a widow, but a deserted wife, and has no 
parish relief.'* 

Such were dear Agnes's life sketches in Drury Lane! 
And how strange and often sudden are life's changes ! 
The record of these visits was scarcely completed on 
New Year's Eve, when the postman's knock, which 
conveys to some hearts with every hour their burden 
of grief and pain, brought news to Hunter Street whick 
had been six days on the road from Italy, — news of 
sickness and near relative claims which might sever 
this true visiting helper from our Mission, and make 
these the last of her London visits. Her dear sister 
lay ill of fever at Rome. Ten minutes afterwards 
followed the telegram, which had only been six hours 
on the road — '" We wish you to come to us at once -, " 
and within the next twenty-four hours she had obeyed, 
and we had to learn to do without one who had seemed 
given of God to especial need, and who was endowed 


With a gift of such especial fitness as is very rarely 
ev/*ialled. Having for many months shared intimately 
in the details of the work of Bible Missions here, this 
friend was suddenly transplanted to the Papal States, 
where, while she would fully perceive the want of 
such Missions, she would be unable to carry them out. 

And so it was 3 this providential recall to her beloved 
family in illness closed the relation of this dear ''fellow- 
helper " to our London Mission, and restored her to 
what she felt her peculiar vocation, the study of the 
art of nursing, and the training of herself and others 
for that purpose. 

She had previously passed some time in Pastor 
Fliedner's training-institution at Kaiserswerth, and been 
brought into communication with Miss Nightingale, 
by whose advice, after her sister's recovery, she entered 
St. Thomas's Hospital as a lady probationer, and passed 
a year under instruction, followed by another year of 
practice in the Great Northern HospitaJ, after which 
she undertook the charge of the Liverpool Workhouse 
Infirmary and of 1300 patients, with the training under 
her own hand of a corps of paid nurses, which it was 
believed would be so vast an improvement on the 
choosing of nurses from among the paupers them- 
selves. • 


In this work, with all its peculiar difficulties and 
trials to the mind of a refined and accomplished lady, 
dear Agnes bore up for more than three years, allowing 
herself so little change or rest by day, or even by night, 
that at last, as might with reason have been expected, 
even her fine constitution has given way, and all her 
work on earth is finished, — far earlier than, in our 
view, she could have been spared from it. 

In order to give an idea of what this beloved one 
had accomplished at Liverpool, we can do nothing 
better than refer to a Resolution passed by the Select 
Vestry of that town at their meeting on the 4th of 
March last, in which they record '^ their grateful sense 
of the devoted, self-sacrificing, and faithful services of 
the late Miss Agnes Jones, as Lady Superintendent of 
nurses in the Liverpool Workhouse Hospital, and to 
convey to her family the expression of their deep 
sympathy in their irreparable loss. The Vestry feel 
that they can have little hope of again finding one who 
will combine sucn a religious sense of duty with such 
rare power of influencing, under much difficulty, those 
over whom she was placed. They trust, however, 
that the friends who are lamenting the removal of 
Miss Jones may be comforted by the assurance that it 


is the earnest aim of the Vestry to continue the work 
she so nobly initiated^ and in the carrying out of which 
she sacrificed her hfe -, and they beheve that in doing 
so they will be greatly assisted by those who^ in work- 
ing with her, have imbibed a portion of her spirit." 

She was most truly spoken of at that official meeting 
as ^' so like a ministering angel/' which she was even 
in her calm, sweet, personal appearance. It was wit- 
nessed by gentlemen of all shades of religious opinion 
" that no one could come into communication with 
her without perceiving that she possessed rare endow- 
ments especially adapted for the performance of those 
laborious, in some respects delicate, and in all respects 
most trying duties which she voluntarily took upon 
herself. There was force of character combined with 
tenderness of nature and gentleness of manner, and her 
quiet energy, patience, and perseverance seemed inex- 
haustible. She did not take up the work as a refuge 
from sorrow or employment for unoccupied affection, 
but hers was a perfect sacrifice of a life surrounded by 
affection and all that could make it happy. She served 
a perfect Master, and left all to follow Him." 

The Chairman of the Nursing Committee, Mr. 
Satchell, observed that — 


•* During the first year of the experiment the attempt 
was made, with her hearty concurrence, to raise a 
number of able-bodied pauper women, by paying them 
and employing them as assistant nurses. The drunken- 
ness and unreliability of these women added greatly to 
the difficulties and trials of introducing the new system, 
but drew from her no complaint or evidence of discou- 

'' The pressure of sickness on the hospital accommoda- 
tion of the parish during the last two winters added an 
amount of difficulty and labour which at last overcame 
her physical strength. Such, however, was the power 
of her character over her fellow-workers, that her 
influence still remained to carry on her work -, and a 
lady who was appointed to assist her, coming from one 
of the wealthiest and best-arranged hospitals in England, 
and going round the hospital for the first time unex- 
pectedly, late in the evening, and some weeks after the 
nurses had been deprived of superintendence and left 
to work on as their sense of love and duty to her 
should direct, was delighted with the cleanliness of the 
wards, and with finding every one at her post, and the 
work done as if under the eye of the most vigilant and 
efficient Superintendent. Her nurses had been inspired 
with the spirit of her own faithfuhiess. 


*' From this we may hope/' said the speaker, " that 
though her bodily presence is removed from us, her 
work and labour of love will endure. It remains our 
duty to see that she has noi lived and died i7i vain, I 
believe the language of the Bible, slightly transposed, 
will give you her real character : — * When the ear 
heard her, then it blessed her; when the eye saw her, 
then it gave witness to her 3 for she delivered the poor 
that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to 
help him. The blessing of him that was ready to 
perish came upon her, and she caused the widow's 
Aeart to sing for joy. She put on righteousness, and it 
clothed her ; her judgment was a robe and a diadem. 
She was a comfort to the poor, and the cause which 
she knew not she searched out.' " 

Another speaker, Mr. W. Rathbone, remarked as 
follows : — 

'' To a lady coming out of family life to a place like 
that workhouse, with its isolation and restraints, and 
the vast mass of misery and degradation around her, it 
might easily be supposed that the result would have 
been depressing. She was one keenly to feel all these 
things, yet never seemed depressed. On the contrary, 
as those gentlemen who attended her funeral service 
heard from the chaplain of that establishment, her dis- 


linguishing characteristic to the outward eye was one 
of cheerfulness and happiness. During her residence 
here, whatever difficulties and discouragements arose, 
her constant expression was that she had never been so 
happy in her life. He trusted that this might have an 
effect upon others who had a similar call, that the 
exercise of those faculties with which God may endow 
them is to a human being, and most of all to a true- 
hearted woman, the supreme of human happiness." 

It is most delightful to preserve this official testi- 
mony, for it would never have been known from herself 
how truly dear Agnes had carried out real Bible-work 
in her hospital life, and that nursing was in her hand a 
spiritual work, as well as a work for the body. Her 
nurses, trained by her, continually testify that hers will 
be no ''starless crown." They believe her simple 
Bible-reading was blessed to many. She never entered 
into controversy, but simply sought to lead sinners to 

We could have wished (how vain are after wishes !) 
that our dear friend, had relaxed in time, and slill 
pressed forward to as earnest, but perhaps a more 
healthful form of devotedness, in her own line of 
thing-;. It was an old and favourite speculation wiib 


US, when thrown together in the Bible Mission, that 
she should train a corps of Christian nurses in London, 
as a branch of the Bible work, to live, not in a Home, 
but out amongst the poor, just as our Bible women do, 
but with disciplined faculties to watch over and alleviate 
sickness ; and it was thought that these nurses must 
certainly become responsible to a separate headship 
from their sisters, the Bible women. 

Ten years have passed away, and no such hope has 
been accomplished, during which time we may truly 
add that such Protestant and Christian nurses have been 
more than ever wanted, and during which, also, the 
self-denying servants of an exclusive party have been 
ever pressing in to occupy the field -, but no door has 
opened, in God's providence, to imitate their zeal and 
cope with their error, in our own particular sphere, till 
the recent offer made us of a '' Mother House" as the 
new centre for such a movement. Then followed 
speedily unexpected facilities for the proposed further 
training of already tried and proved Bible women in 
various London hospitals, of which we are now con- 
tinually taking advantage. 

Our full attention had not been roused to the subject 
till^ week after week, we heard that a Bible woman 
was shut out from some house of sorrow where, wita 


the words of God, she had entered in, because the sick 
child had been cared for skilfully or the wounded limb 
bandaged by some intolerant Sister of Charity, who 
had said, '^ I will do this no more unless you promise 
to have nothing further to say to that Bible-woman j" 
and this is caUing forth the need for nurses who love 
the Bible, whose tender care for suffering is caught 
from the yet more tender heart of Christ, — of Christ 
who suffers with His people, and heals their souls as 
they suffer with Him, — who can whisper the word to 
their Master for blessing on every care that they 
bestow, and who \^ill do their duty for His sake. 
There are no rules in the world's wide hospital that 
can prevent this blessed ministration to hoth body and 
soul, and in this path we beHeve we shall find only a 
fresh kind of Bible-v*'ork, requiring, it may be, a new 
tact and a Vv isdom which God will supply to those who 
undertake it. 

Alas! the earthly friend to whom vre should espe- 
cially have turned for sympathy and experience in the 
new path is ''gone home" to the wodd where theiti is 
more pain. May God find her a true successor! May 
her mantle of devotedness and of pu-pcse in Kf:^ fall 
upon US; and while she sings \hz son^ before the 
throne, may we too join in the song of pr^i5e, r.r-i 
trust in the Master who lives for ever. 



" 14. Maryland Street, Liverpool. Oct. 28, 1868. 

" IV AY DEAR Miss Smyth. — You will not impute it 
-*" '^ A to any carelessness that 1 hav^e not before this 
replied to your letter. You know well what it is to have 
duties which admit of no postponement ; and I will, 
without more apology, call to mind my recollections of 
our dear Agn^s. The first time I saw her was in the 
sitting-room of the Kaiserswerth Institution for Dea- 
conesses. My sister and I had just arrived from London, 
and making friends with the sisters, were delighted to 
see a fellow-country-woman. She had heard that we 
were come, and hastened to welcome us. From that 
day (until w^e took our last look of her in the Liverpool 
workhouse) we were constant friends. 

"We found little time in the sisterhood to enjoy 
each other's company. We all met after breakfast for 
prayers at half-past .six o'clock in the morning, and 
then each sister set off to her post or 'station,' as they 


call it. We generally had our meals together, when 
we had a pleasant time for a few short moments. 
Even then a book was often read aloud 3 so that there 
was not much time for conversation. We also often 
met in chapel, and on our way thither exchanged a 
word. We all went there at half-past three in the 
afternoon for meditation and prayer, if we could snatch 
the time. We felt a clinging to one another, with 
our English Bibles, among all the foreign, though kind 
women. We got to think of ourselves as three drawn 
greatly together, and often has this feeling come over 
us again in Liverpool. It seemed always a help to 
think of one another workins^ here. 

'^ It was when a spare hour came sometimes before 
we retired for the night, that we had time for a chat 
Sister Agnes's little room was near our rooms, and 
often a tap told us at ten o'clock that she was looking 
for us. How we chatted ! each eager to tell the ad- 
ventures in the different posts, — one telling of her 
patients in the sick boys' ward, and another of her pro- 
gress amongst the insane ladies. And many a hearty 
laugh we had over our difficulties. Of course, there 
were many things which were strange to us in our 
new life. I think, my dear Miss Smyth, you little 
guess the privations and occupations your dear niece so 

2 I 

482 APPEKblX. 

lightly went through in her training, — far greater to 
her than to the German sister. But no one could be 
acquainted with her without knowing that she had 
learnt to 'endure hardness' as a good soldier of Jesus 
Christ. You would have wondered to see how the 
desire to fit herself for being useful to the poor, had 
enabled her to conquer all fastidiousness. In all my 
acquaintance with her, I never knew her to shrink 
from a duty because of its repulsiveness. On the 
contrary, I have known her to perform offices for the 
suffering, which some mothers or sisters would 
almost draw back from performing for children, or 
brothers and sisters. And ahe has always done these 
things as a matter of course, without affectation, merely 
as being in the way of duty. She had, as much as 
any woman I ever knew, got over the feeling that 
work is unlady-like. Everything that could help the 
afflicted and bring honour to her dear Lord, she gladly 
undertook. There never was a question as to whether 
the work was what she would choose, and, alas ! there 
never was a question if the work was beyond her 
strength. Whatever there was to be done in Kaisers- 
werth, or in the workhouse in Liverpool, she would try 
to do it. And more than this, she has done great 
work, greater than many who have lived longer, and. 


perhaps, she does not now agree with us in regretting 
this self-forgetfulness. Perhaps the spectacle of an en- 
thusiasm which was unable to count the cost is some 
compensation for work cut short, for a life taken from 
this earth, where the plaintive cry of pain seems to bid 
it stay to solace it. It cannot be that the example, a 
refined lady giving herself thus to the poor for Christ's 
sake, wilj go for nothing, My sister and I were in the 
habit of taking young ladies to spend a few hours with 
Miss Jones, being convinced that it could not but iiave 
a powerful influence for good upon them, to come 
into contact with such a life. And it is something to 
tell you that we always felt ourselves happier in our 
work from beins^ with her. Last Christmas she had 
planned that we should spend it together. This my 
sister and 1 were not able to arrange. So her usual 
messenger to us. Nurse Walker, came again for us 
on New Year's Eve. How little did we think it was 
the last time we should meet her in health ! What had 
not her love and ingenuity done with the dwelling ot 
ihe paupers ? Everywhere were texts in cheerful co- 
lours, bidding even these prisoners of hope take cou- 
rage. She had got quantities of flowers, decorating 
every ward and wall and doorway. We found our 
de^r friend in the midst of sick women an^ cbiMr^n 


all of whom she had gathered round a Christmas-tree. 
This was as beautiful and gay as if the Kaiserswevth 
sisters had made it. Indeed the whole scene — Sister 
Agnes loaded with presents for every one of the poor 
children^ the sick^ even those unable to walk carried 
in— so reminded us of Germany, among the deaconesses, 
that I said to her, ' We only want Pastor Fhedner 

'* I never felt more drawn to her than when I saw 
her thus in the midst of the poor 3 and in an unusual 
mood of tenderness I took her hand in mine and ca- 
ressed her, saying, how proud I was of her, and how 
pleasing to our dear Lord was this sight. I am often glad 
since that I gave way to this impulse of affection, for 
she was unconscious of our sad looks when we next 
saw her. Oh, how sad did Sarah and I find it to go 
continually to hear only heavier reports ! The porter at 
the gate came out always if there was any change for 
the better, to tell us the good news. And as we came 
away we were constantly stopped to know ' How was 
the Lady to-night ?' asked in softened tones by poor 
fellows that one would hardly think had much feeling 
for anything. They knew at least their loss. I need 
not dwell on their sorrow, no one knows it better than 
yourself. How she is missed in that house wjiere she 


did so much to fight against the despair and misery 
among which she clioce to dwell -, and it should be 
seen to be understood ! I assure you the thought has 
come over me^ when spending some time with her, 
that almost every one had failed in life. That all the 
plans of these men and women had turned out to be 
mistakes -, that to many, to nearly all, there was no- 
thing in this life worth living for, and no life in Christ 
which would reach over and conquer death. This 
thought of their utter failure has sometimes chilled me 
to a horror, and I have gone so far sometimes as to 
desire for Agnes a more hopeful sphere of work. I 
have grudged her health and hope to be merged in 
their death and despair, and have wished she might be 
among those who \\'ould yield a return of lives re- 
claimed and renewed. But it is all over now, and we 
will believe all is well over, and that this was her work. 
^' I remain, with love to your sister, 
'' My dear Miss Smyth, 

^^ Yours very affectionately, 

^^ Mary Myles. 

*' I send ttvo of Agnes's letters. Please send them 

*"'As we knew her in Kaiser^^werih, we thoughr ber 


character one which naturally clung to others. She 
looked up greatly to Pastor Fliedner, and had evidently 
gained much support in her parish-work from the sym- 
pathy of the present Bishop of Derry, among whose 
former people she had laboured. I think few would 
have guessed this, who only knew her in the work- 
house hospital, where she was so much thrown on her- 
self. The texts which she covered her walls with, 
seemed always to me very touching. The trust was 
laised to Christ, away from human support." 




Small crown 8vo. Is. each. 

Is. each. i. YOUNG MEN AND GIRLS : Faults and Ideals. By the Rev. 
J. K MiLLEK, D.D., Author of ''Silent Times." Small 
crown 8vo, Is. ; also in paper covers, 6d. each. 


Men. By F. A. Atkins, Editor of " The Young Man." 

3. LIFE WITH A PURPOSE. By Rev. J. Reid Howatt. 


F. A. Atkins, Editor of ^' The Young Man." 



6. AFTER HOURS ; or, The Religion of our Leisure Time. With 

an Appendix on How to Form a Library for Twenty Shillings. 
By the Rev. J. Reid Howatt. 

7. HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE. By Dr. Clifford, M.A., 

Professor Elmslie, D.D. ; R. F. Hoiirox, M.A. ; Rev. F. B. 
Meyer, B.A,; Rev. C. H. Waller, M.A. ; Rev. H. C. G. 
MouLE, M.A. ; Rev. C. A. Berry; Rev. W. J. Dawson. 
Third Edition. 

8. MORAL MUSCLE : And How to Use If. A Brotherly Chat 

with Young Men. By F. A. Atkix^s, Editor of *' The Y^oung 

9. YOUTH'S IDEALS. By the Rev. J. Reid Howatt. 

10. AGNOSTIC FALLACIES. By the Rev. J. Reid Howatt. 


Demy 8vo, handsomely bound, with gilt edges* 

6s. each. 1. THE DAYS OF BRUCE. By Grace Aguilar. 

3. BEN HUR. By Lew Wallace. 

4. HOME INFLUENCE. By Grace Aglilar. 




7. STRANGE YET TRUE. By Dr. Macaulay. 

8. THE LAMPLIGHTER. By Maria S. Cummins, 

9. NOBODY. By Susan AVarner, 


BETWIXT TWO FIRES. With Illastratious. Extra 
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

OLD CRUSTY'S NIECE. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

DALE. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

GARTON ROWLEY ; or, Leaves from the Log of a Master 
Mariner. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

WILL IT LIFT ? A Story of a London Fog. With Illus- 
trations. Crown Svo. 2s. 6d. 

PAUL MEGGITT'S DELUSION. With Illustrations. 
Crown Svo. 3s. 6d. 

A MAN EVERY INCH OF HIM. Crown Svo. 2s. 6d. 

JACK HORNER THE SECOND. With Illustrations. 
Crown Svo. Is. 6d. 

THE SECRET OF THE MERE ; or, Under the Surface. 
Crown Svo. 2s. 6d. 

Crown Svo. 3 s. 6d. 

Svo. 3s. 6d. 

MATTHEW MELLOWDEW. With Frontispiece. Extra 
crown Svo. 3s. 6d. 

NESTLETON MAGNA. Extra crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

PETER PENGELLY. With Hlustrations. Crown Svo. 
Is. 6d. 

Is. each. 1. THE MAN WITH THE KNAPSACK; or, The Miller 
of Burnham Lee. Small Crown Svo. 


Crown Svo. 

3. PRIMROSE GARTH. Small Crown Svo. 


Small Crown Svo. 

5. GEOFFREY HALLAM; or, the Clerk of the Parish. 

Small Crown Svo, 

It was fitting- that 'Brownlow Hill Infirmary, 
Liverpool, should commemorate the 50th anni- 
versary of the commencement of Agnes Jones' 
great work for the reform of workhouse nurs- 
ing, within its walls, and it is a curious co- 
incidence that it should have fallen on the 
anniversary of the birthday of Miss Florence 
Nightingale, at whose suggestion she entered 
upon it. (^,^.K, "^huVu/JjL J he: 

At the public memorial service in the Infir- 
imary Chapel the congregation included not 
only members and officials of the Select Vestry, 
but Matrons and nurses from many of the hos- 
pitals and institutions in the city. Many 
beautiful flowers were laid on and around the 
statue of Miss Jones in the chapel. 

A more sympathetic preacher, for such an 
occasion, than the Bishop of Liverpool it would 
be impossible to find. 

Dr. Chavasse selected as his text the words, 
" Be not slothful, but followers of them who 
through faith and patience inherit the pro- 
mise." If, he said, it were the custom of the 
Church of England to canonise its saintly men 
and women, there was no one in modern times 
who deserved to be canonised more than Agnes 
Elizabeth Jones. And yet he supposed outside 
a very limited circle her name was hardly 
known. She passed to her rest when she was 
a few months over 35, and of those 35 years 
32 were spent in preparation for her work, and 
less than three years in the work itself. Dr. 
Chavasse said that it was on the 12th May, 
1865, ^^^^ Agnes Jones began her work in that 
place, when nothing had been done for our 
workhouses, whose state at that time was 
lamentable. In less than three years, to quote 
M*ss Nightingale's words, she reduced one of 
the most disorderly hospital populations in the 
world to something like Christian discipline, 
she trained 50 nurses and probationers, and she 
converted the Vestry to the conviction of the 
economy and humanity of nursing paupers by 
trained nurses. And finally, in Liverpool, with 
its bitter sectarian differences, she disarmed all 
opposition and sectarian jealousy, and High 
Church and Low Church, Unitarian, Noncon- 
formist, and Roman Catholic, all literally rose 
up and called her blessed. The means by which 
she accomplished this was by her bright and 
sunny ways, her wonderful love, her genius for 
taking pains, and her trust in God. 


■!p ^fe^*ft.i- - 




^ ■ ^^?%: 



[■•'-- I '■iii»irF»M